A Critique of Mind Augmenting Technologies


Finally, to put these mind augmenting technologies in perspective I'd like to quote Ray Kurzweil again:

People often go through three stages in considering future technologies: awe and wonderment at their potential to overcome age-old problems; a sense of dread at the new set of grave dangers that accompany the new technologies; and, finally (and hopefully), the realization that the only viable and responsible path is to set a careful course that can reap the benefits while managing the dangers.

        Sounds reasonable. But it tells us nothing of how specific peoople people in government, people in power, people in need, and people in greed will react to future technologies.
         Will these people will recognize the dangers of new technologies? I say it's doubtful because:

  1. The rapid development of these technologies.
  2. Complexity keeps them out of mainstream news.
  3. The need for secrecy of governmental-supported technologies.
  4. If we should expect people to follow a reasonable path, then why is there a very real and present danger in the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons?

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