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Why THE

FUTURE DOES
NOT NEED US?
GROUP 3
Thoughts about the picture
William Nelson Joy
• Born November 8, 1954
• an American Computer Engineer
• He co-founded Sun Microsystems in 1982
• He also wrote the 2000 essay Why The Future
Doesn't Need Us, in which he expressed deep
concerns over the development of modern
technologies.
William Nelson Joy

• In 2000, Joy gained notoriety with the publication of his article in Wired
Magazine, Why The Future Doesn't Need Us, in which he declared, in
what some have described as a "neo-Luddite" position
• He was convinced that growing advances in genetic
engineering and nanotechnology would bring risks to humanity.
• He argued that intelligent robots would replace humanity, at the very
least in intellectual and social dominance, in the relatively near future.
William Nelson Joy
• He supports and promotes the idea of abandonment of GNR
(genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics) technologies, instead of
going into an arms race between negative uses of the technology
and defense against those negative uses (good nano-machines
patrolling and defending against Grey goo "bad" nano-machines).
• This stance of broad relinquishment was criticized by technologists,
also Joy was criticized by The American Spectator, which
characterized Joy's essay as a (possibly unwitting) rationale
for statism.
William Nelson Joy’s Argument
• Joy’s worries focus on the transforming technologies of the
21st century—genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics
(GNR). What is particularly problematic about them is that
they have the potential to self-replicate.
• This makes them inherently more dangerous than 20th-
century technologies—nuclear, biological, and chemical
weapons—which were expensive to build and require rare
raw materials.
• By contrast, 21st-century technologies allow for small
groups or individuals to bring about massive destruction.
• Joy accepts that we will soon achieve the
computing power necessary to implement
some of the scenarios envisioned
by Kurzweil and Moravec, but worries that
we overestimate our design abilities. Such
hubris may lead to disaster.
JOY’S CONCLUSION

• Joy concludes that we ought to relinquish these


technologies before it’s too late. Yes, GNR may
bring happiness and immortality, but should we risk
the survival or the species for such goals? Joy
thinks not.
Theodore Kaczynski
• Born May 22, 1942
• also known as the Unabomber
• is an American domestic terrorist, former mathematics professor,
and anarchist author.
• He was a mathematics prodigy, but he abandoned an academic career in
1969 to pursue a primitive lifestyle.
• Between 1978 and 1995, he killed three people and injured 23 others in an
attempt to start a revolution by conducting a nationwide bombing campaign
targeting people involved with modern technology. In conjunction, he issued a
social critique opposing industrialization while advocating a nature-centered
form of anarchism.
• He wrote the book “Unabomber Manifesto” The manifesto itself
is largely concerned with how society is affected by technology,
particularly modern, industrial technology. Titled "Industrial
Society and Its Future," Kaczynski began with these claims:
The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been
a disaster for the human race. ... They have destabilized
society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human
beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological
suffering ... and have inflicted severe damage on the
natural world.
• Where he further argued about
dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT)
John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid noted in their excellent 2001,
“Response to Bill Joy and the Doom-and-Gloom Technofuturists”
• technological and social systems shape each other. The same is true
on a larger scale. Technology and society are constantly forming and
reforming new dynamic equilibriums with far-reaching implications.
The challenge for futurology (and for all of us) is to see beyond the
hype and past the over-simplifications to the full import of these new
sociotechnical formations. Social and technological systems do not
develop independently; the two evolve together in complex feedback
loops, wherein each drives, restrains and accelerates change in the
other.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001)
• the story behind A.I. was originally conceived by Stanley Kubrick, who confided
in Steven Spielberg on the project. On Kubrick’s sudden death in 1999, his
widow persuaded Spielberg to take over the film. The film is set at a future time
when progress in robotics poses a possible threat to the human species. David,
a robotic boy, is the artificial life form that is capable of experiencing love. As a
prototype, he is given to a couple whose real son is in what appears to be an
irreversible coma. After a rough start, David and his mother bond. The real son
miraculously awakes from the coma, returns to the family and tricks David into
doing dangerous things. The father feels that they must return David to the
manufacturer for destruction, but the mother allows David to escape. For the rest
of the film David seeks to be reunited with his mother, and, for a time, is joined
on his quest by “Gigolo Joe,” a robot designed to be a male prostitute. David
becomes frozen in the ocean, and, millennia later – long after the extinction of
the human species – robots of the future rescue him and allow him to reunite
with his mother for one day that will last in his mind for eternity.

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