Newly-Emerging Technologies and the Future of Humanity

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us tomorrow, Friday, September 9th at 3 pm. in the Hatfield Room for our first Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Govindan Parayil, Mark and Melody Teppola Presidential Distinguished Visiting Professor

Title: Newly-Emerging Technologies and the Future of HumanityGovindan Parayil

Abstract: Recent advances in biological, computer and material sciences have made many thinkers to revisit the age-old warnings about the dangers of run-way technological change. This, in addition to the threat to all life on earth due to run away climate change, adds to the doomsday scenario. Computer pioneer Bill Joy’s famous article, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us” in WIRED magazine is getting renewed attention with a slew of books and articles about the threat to humanity’ future (see for example books by Nick Bostrom, Yuval Harari and others) due to advances in biotechnology and artificial intelligence. In this lecture I will go over these issues and see if humanity’s future is, indeed, doomed as claimed. I will argue that, yes, we must be concerned, but the “post-human” tomorrow waiting for us should be least of our worries when we should be worried about global poverty, increasing inequality, civil wars, and environmental problems.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators