The End of the World

An article by Bill Joy is only one expression of a serious concern that computer technology could bring the world as we know it to an end.

Human-level artificial intelligence working at electronic speeds could take over its own development and move far beyond us before we could possibly respond. Nanotechnology adds a radical spatial-scale difference to this time-scale difference. Self-replication completes the picture.

Personally, I think that the threat is real, but I am also an optimist about the existence of solutions and countervailing forces. The world is very different at scales of time and space that are different from ours by orders of magnitude. (See my essay What about the Singularity?)

However, I believe that we have a responsibility as computer scientists and as citizens to be informed about these threats.

Essays on technological futures

Science fiction writers' explorations of possible futures

Kurt Vonnegut once said something like, "Science fiction writers are the most important writers in the world today. If only some of them could write!"

There are important ideas here.

And to keep it all in perspective...

There are undoubtedly more. Please send them.

Suggestions I've received

I haven't read these yet. I hope to get around to them, but my stack is big and it keeps growing.