Dirk Knemeyer

The evolution of emerging technologies

The evolution of emerging technologies, October 2, 2014

A short comment contextualizing the prediction could go right here

The thing that we’re fighting against is that human nature is to only react to something after it’s far too late. I think an instructive example of reacting to when changing the trajectory of technology would be with nuclear weapon technology. Once that horse was let out of the barn in 1945, the pursuit and the production of nuclear weapons just went crazy. I don’t have the specific numbers handy but we’re talking about thousands and thousands and thousands of warheads, and many nations pursuing the technology and the whole nine yards.

More recently now, after the Cold War ended, there’s actually been a decrease in the production of nuclear warheads and the production of nuclear weapons of any kind that are capable of eradicating millions of humans. It only happened after this huge arms race happened that collapsed the former Soviet Union, in part, and created arsenals that were big enough to obliterate the whole world many times over. It’s like only way after we had made all these stupid mistakes that we finally say, “Okay, geez, let’s reign it in.” Even still, there’s way too many nuclear weapons.

I predict that the way that these other [emerging] technologies unfold and how they are used will be very similar. That even as it’s stupid for them to be exploited and pursued, they will be exploited and pursued, and it’s only after really nasty things happen and we don’t have a choice, and we’ll start to go in the other direction. I think if we look back over all of human history and I’ve chosen a more recent example, because I think the cycles of time are closer to where we are today than some more ancient examples, that’s just how we react. That’s just how we function.

Unfortunately, being that the technology and the things that are being produced now are so … Their potential is all global and so significant, that that is a recipe for a tragedy, frankly.