Afraid of the future

Bill joy, co-aging of sun, warns of the usual technique and calls for more control of technical progress

It has to be an event of a special kind when in coarse american newspapers like washington post or the new york times find the concerns of a relief of the technical elite against the technical progress entrance, especially the article "why the future can do without us" will appear in wired tomorrow.

Obsessed from the better future, which will bring technical progress with it, and excites from the still exploding borship ratings of the internet industry or biotechnology industry, which apparently seems to be a pillar in the economic near future, it’s difficult to get critical time. "Officially" must be proclaimed by the relatives of the industry optimism. Only computer pioneer danny hillis had a full optimism, which blessings will bring the compan games with themselves and that people are also ready to merge with the machines (danny hillis about the future of entertainment, the power of the game developers and the merger of humans and machine). There may already be surprise when bill joy, co-agent by sun microsystems, may envy, the new technologies could already lead to a decline in humanity within the next two generations.

Maybe it is so that an expert of information technology needs to know, of which he speaks, and if he also expresses a deep-seated, optimism laminated discomfort on the so-called, which with all the strength and dizzying speed in an indefinite future seems to pull, then we can rest again. On the other hand, the politicians have the future with qualifications and programs have occupied the decisive determination to catapult us as soon as possible in the information age or, depending on the needs of the knowledge society, because otherwise the demise of each location threatens. It could be that this affirmation from the center, the center, which makes anxiety to the lever of progress, allows the avant-gardists to be allowed or abuts again at the front of world events, now in mental distance to go to technical progress.

Anyway, bill joy puts his forecast, which he understands as a warning call, at least for the fast-lived internet age so far into the future that immediate business interests are not threatened, which is why he could unaval in fortune the much more optimistic article digital wonders who promises us the arrival in a ubiquitous digital future. It’s just how joy emphasizes, just about the near future, in which he does not play with its work on new programs like jini. But the expert threatens that he now might imagine that a day he could come to learn that he was morally committed to catch up, if software no longer becomes one "safer and better place" make. At least it suits then that he probably will sit in the old part when the time has come.

The threats come mainly from the three future technologies genetics, nanotechnology and robotics, the "whole new types of unused and abusable applications" create. The above all is therefore because these technologies can be used by individual people or small groups: "they do not require coarse production facilities or rare raw materials. Knowledge alone will enjoy to use them." so the danger does not go from "rogue states", but from bosen individuals, what makes everything worse than the nuclear weapons. He stands in line with the security strategies developed by the us government, which, in the face of infowar, cyberterrorism or more aging, weapons of this threat through individual people already in the presence. But that is probably too close and too pragmatic, then too pragmatically, would then be asked to think well, not only relatively consequently to think about what you could do, but to act by creating the progress of the progress. Just that that joy calls namely in the future as "only realistic alternative: to limit the development of technologies that are too dangerous by limiting our pursuit of certain types of progress."

Not very immodes he positions himself in the successor of those scientists who have warned before the advent of the atomic bomb. "We had had something to learn from the production of the first atomic bomb and the resulting wettrust. We did not do that at the time, and the parallels to our opposite situation are pregnant." so he now feels a stronger "personal responsibility — not for the work i have already done, but for the one i could export" — why everything remains theoretically and the money continues to fly.

Is provocative, however, is that its exercises probably also happen so well that he now finds himself to his chatting in the near the criticism of the nonvomber, which is now well kept with a lifelong punishment in the prison. The former mathematician had namely that technical progress threatened humanity — and grasped to bombs against scientists and other agents of technical nomenclature to initiate a reversal through this propaganda of act, while he had joined himself in the forests of and there a simple life led (bombs from the wilderness).

Like minsky, kurzweil or moravec, at any rate, joy believes that more and more powerful computers become superintelligent robots that will be sparingly competing with humans. Genetic engineering would lead to biological weapons, which can be selectively dead, but also to new life forms. And creating nanotechnology conne autonomous miners who replicate themselves and could do half, when they release them. The worst danger threw through the uncontrolled release of reproducing and mutating mechanical or biological products: "even if replication can only be seen in a computer or computer network, an uncontrolled self-replication with these new technologies leads to a much greater risk: the risk of significant harmful harm in the material world." although this is really no new realization, let alone a new warning, but joy probably does not lead to the solidarity with the contemporary genetic engineering critics, because everything is still coming. Or does he even ame the american clergyman, for which the devils can be in the computer? (expanding the devil from the computer)

Overall, one’s threatening one "replication atcades in the material world", which is comparable to the attacks in the virtual world through which some commercial websites were briefly paralyzed. Anyway, joy seems to worry about the old frankenstein or golem fear of the utility of its own inventions: "if you let something go, the copies can produce yourself", he said i an interview, " then it is difficult to bring back to. That’s as hard as the eradication of all the muck: they are everywhere and multiply. If you are attacked, you mutate and become immune. This will result in the possibility for individual people, something extremely boses suffered. If we do not act, the risk is very rough that a single crowded person makes something very bad."

Then he not only criticizes the scientists who are silent about potential risks of their research, but also means that the development of new technologies determined by the market, ie commercial interests of new technologies were not controlled by the invisible hand. So then joy will set a role model and get out of technical development? Asked how he wants to limit the development, he said only "stammering", how the washington post commits: "sun has always tried to be an ethical inventor. We make tools. I switch off here from the topic." so you do not have to be afraid that joy becomes a second, and the shareholder of sun does not have to be afraid that in the company suddenly too much personal responsibility to the technical progress comes up. And probably a possible limitation should then make the politicians who otherwise always be baked by the industry: "hands off!"