23 years ago, the Sun Microsystems co-founder raised serious concerns about out-of-control technology innovation. As we grapple with the latest wave of AI, it's time to revisit his article.
Great article Andrew, thanks.
Personally, I don't think this is that complicated if we focus on the big picture instead of details. We only need to know two things:
1) Knowledge development feeds back upon itself leading to an accelerating rate of knowledge development.
2) Human maturity, judgment, wisdom etc does not advance at an accelerating pace, but at an incremental pace at best.
Imagine plotting knowledge development against maturity development on a graph. We'd see the two lines diverge at an accelerating pace.
Nobody can know for sure when, how, why these diverging lines will result in a crisis. Predicting such details seems impossible. But the simple logic of the graph makes a convincing credible case that continuing on the current "more is better" course will somehow, someday, some way lead to calamity.
Most commentators on such subjects like to speculate about the nature of particular technologies. Will chatbots become AGI etc.
A more reliable, less speculative manner of conducting the analysis is to focus on the other side of the equation, we the users of such technologies. Human nature hasn't changed substantially in thousands of years.