Indeed, we would argue that there is a disproportionate lack of funding in this area given how strongly it is aligned with the most pressing global concerns in this era.
If we fail to cobble together globally accepted ethical guidelines, it will be open season for Dr Frankenstein.
Should such a jump occur there would be a large difference in potential power between the smart system or the people telling it what to do and the rest of the world. As long as human beings know how to enrich uranium and plutonium, their survival will depend on privileging the prevention of nuclear war over the interests of any particular nation.
The probabilities also change over time — sometimes because we are concerned about the risks and fix them. Not only was nuclear war averted, but war of all kinds declined.
How can any nation, however powerful, stop global warming on its own? Nationalists think in terms of territorial conflicts lasting centuries, whereas the technological revolutions of the 21st century should be understood in cosmic terms.
For many a middle-aged man and woman, like me, the European ideal, first born out of the trauma of war and the promise of peace and prosperity, became a European identity over long nights in packed second-class carriages rolling to Paris, Munich, Madrid, Stockholm, or Amsterdam.
We do not know about any such threats none of the others on this list work like thisbut they might exist. Before any new technology is unleashed, a serious audit of its social impacts, both negative and positive, needs to be conducted by panels made up of technologists, parents, social scientists, teachers, children and others.
There is a sense of powerlessness and fatalism about them.
Remarkably, Duplex sounded almost identical to a human being.