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POLL: Which Future Tech Frightens You Most?


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Poll: Which Future Tech Frightens You Most? (164 member(s) have cast votes)

Which of the following do you think we should we be most cautious about?

  1. Nanotechnology (17 votes [10.30%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.30%

  2. Gene Therapy (3 votes [1.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.82%

  3. Designer Babies (12 votes [7.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.27%

  4. Nuclear Fusion (11 votes [6.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  5. Biometric Identification (15 votes [9.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.09%

  6. Artificial Intelligence (46 votes [27.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.88%

  7. Particle Accelerators (10 votes [6.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.06%

  8. Designer Drugs (3 votes [1.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.82%

  9. Virtual Reality (7 votes [4.24%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.24%

  10. Genetically Modified Organisms (22 votes [13.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.33%

  11. Future Media (19 votes [11.52%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.52%

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#1 J.Litobarski

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 06:51 AM


Because I suspect most people on ImmInst are pro-technology, I was wondering which future technologies give them pause for thought. By nominating a technology, that doesn't mean you don't wish to see it researched, only that you think it has the most potential for harm.

Joe

P.S. Feel free to suggest technologies you think should be included in the poll.

Edited by J.Litobarski, 17 December 2007 - 12:41 PM.

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#2 modelcadet

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 09:06 AM

I'd love an other category, for this invention:

The Gossip Social Network.

Early in the 2.0 bubble days, I was on facebook, and I got an idea for a sister application. This application would utilize people's facebook accounts to confirm identities and then allow users to add gossip metadata. For instance Johnhooked up with Jane at Frank's party on July 19, 2006. People could confirm or deny the gossip using a digg-style democratic system, with a message board for discussion. For instance, "Oh yeah, John definitely hooked up with Jane that night... I saw the necking on the couch..." Now imagine using a system of such data to visualize patterns of friends, essentially seeing the interrelationships between your specific group of friends and who was getting around.

I determined that if this technology were created and became successful, it would be very frightening. No amount of Google money is worth that.

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#3 Karomesis

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 02:11 PM

that's interesting, No one checked off AI except me.

the other technologies don't really frighten me at all....as long as it's humans using them. I can predict and explain human behavoir, but not AI.


"Oh yeah, John definitely hooked up with Jane that night... I saw the necking on the couch..."


if Jane's that easy, do you have her phone #? ;)


actually that's a pretty damn good idea. find a good business model for it, and you'd get VC funding no prob.

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#4 maestro949

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 03:14 PM

I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today -- William Allen White

#5 missminni

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 04:31 PM

I'm more frightened by fundamentalist evangelical religions, be it Christianity or Islam,
that educate their kids and teach them creationism, self righteousness and domination.
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#6 forever freedom

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 05:18 PM

I think that the technologies we have to be most careful about are Artificial Intelligence and Nanotechnology, but appearently that's not everyone's opinion.

#7 missminni

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 05:22 PM

I think that the technologies we have to be most careful about are Artificial Intelligence and Nanotechnology, but appearently that's not everyone's opinion.

actually, I don't know enough about either to have an intelligent opinion one way or the other.
Please explain your reason for concern.

#8 luv2increase

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 07:23 PM

I'm more frightened by fundamentalist evangelical religions, be it Christianity or Islam,
that educate their kids and teach them creationism, self righteousness and domination.


Wow, it sounds as though you are very prejudice. That surely isn't good for humanity, especially if Earth's inhabitants want to live in harmony, indefinitely.

Also, that has nothing to do with technology. Basically, a lot of the technology listed as a poll choice could potentially destroy our planet. Pick one of those.



I voted for particle accelerators. I remember reading an alarming excerpt in Popular Science about these a couple years back. Scary stuff if you ask me.
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#9 Shannon Vyff

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 10:40 PM

I went with particle accelerators, since it is what I know the least about, and seems to have the ability to do the most damage--at least accidentally, something that we have not anticipated. But as with all the things on the list, I expect more positives than negatives. ;)

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#10 jaydfox

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 10:55 PM

I voted for particle accelerators. I remember reading an alarming excerpt in Popular Science about these a couple years back. Scary stuff if you ask me.

I've never been bothered by the particle accelerators. I mean, obviously we can't say with 100% certainty that they won't do something bad like unleash a baby black hole, but to me the odds seem so low as to be completely irrelevant. Cosmic rays bombard the earth regularly with energy levels that are several orders of magnitude higher than anything we're likely to produce ourselves prior to the Singularity. If the cosmic rays haven't destroyed us yet, then I find it very unlikely that our own particle accelerators will pose any serious threat.

Or did you have another particle accelerator related threat in mind?

#11 Shepard

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 10:58 PM

Yeah, I put particle accelerators down low with alien attack or simulation shutdown.

#12 Lazarus Long

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 12:28 AM

While I must say that there is nothing on the list that actually *frightens* me the one I would nominate for the poll is "designer drugs." Not the ones for healing purposes but the kind that flood the markets unchecked to get people high.

Very few if any ever have safety analysis done before being distributed for effect and profit. This means that the users are a large test sample, and like the numerous *young* cardiac patients that were former coke heads, by the time the dangerous side effects are discovered it is usually too late to correct much of the damage.

The potential for harm is demonstrated to be greater for this type of product both socially and physically than all the others, perhaps even combined. Not because the others have no risks associated with them but because those risks are apparent even when unknown; so caution is advised and usually the case. Designer drug users for recreational use by definition usually have thrown caution to the wind to begin with.

#13 luv2increase

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 12:39 AM

The poll is somewhat flawed. It should be split into what frightens you the most as a threat against our survival as a species or what frightens you the most because it would just be a plain nuisance.
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#14 J.Litobarski

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 02:25 AM

The poll is somewhat flawed. It should be split into what frightens you the most as a threat against our survival as a species or what frightens you the most because it would just be a plain nuisance.


This is a very personal poll - interested in how you feel about different upcoming (and potentially dangerous) technologies. As such, it's up to you whether you're worried about a technology because it will be a social nuisance, or whether you feel it could genuinely threaten the species. Vote for the one technology you feel most concerned about, and please feel free to share the reasons you voted for it!

I think it's fascinating that GMO has got so many votes. I had assumed nanotech and AI would get a lot of votes. Nuclear fusion is also a surprise.

#15 niner

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 02:34 AM

None of that stuff really scares me that much; like missminni I'm more worried about plain old humans and their dangerous memes. Since this is a technology thread, I'll modify that to "the technology that assists fundamentalists", like, say, Fox News or Al Jazeera.
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#16 missminni

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 04:07 AM

None of that stuff really scares me that much; like missminni I'm more worried about plain old humans and their dangerous memes. Since this is a technology thread, I'll modify that to "the technology that assists fundamentalists", like, say, Fox News or Al Jazeera.

yes, that's the category I'd pick
in fact, television is probably one of the most potentially dangerous technologies in terms of
its influence over people regardless of age, culture or socio-economic status.
Reality is whatever they see
on television. That has frightening implications.

Edited by missminni, 17 December 2007 - 04:39 AM.


#17 Shannon Vyff

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 09:14 PM

fun ;)

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#18 s123

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 11:11 PM

No technology is dangerous if you use it right.

Nanotechnology would be able to heal people but it would also be able to kill or sicken people (e.g. nanoparticles absorbed into the bloodstream).
Nuclear fusion like in the ITER is completely safe but a H-bomb isn't so safe.

#19 HellKaiserRyo

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 11:26 PM

No technology is dangerous if you use it right.

Nanotechnology would be able to heal people but it would also be able to kill or sicken people (e.g. nanoparticles absorbed into the bloodstream).
Nuclear fusion like in the ITER is completely safe but a H-bomb isn't so safe.



Designer babies, only because of inequality of access.

If the technology is distributed correctly, we can create a more equitable world.

#20 juu-joa

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 09:13 PM

Designer babies, that is pretty insane... I would never want to have a designer baby, the whole thought just creeps me out.

#21 basho

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 01:11 PM

On reflection, maybe "Future Media" is the most dangerous of the lot. Media technologies that provide a richer, more immersive experience will be incredibly attractive and powerful in the hands of those who wish to shape national sentiment in support of authoritarian, totalitarian and repressive political ideologies. Consider that one characteristic of fascism is the control and censorship of mass media, often indirectly though government regulation and sympathetic media corporations, and its use in to encourage nationalistic memes. Could the use of significantly more powerful media technologies result in the rise to dominance of political ideologies based on control and manipulation - Corporatism*, Christo/Islamofascism, Totalitarianism and Militarism? Its not a nice future to envisage and I can imagine such a world would be locked in perpetual war.

*Corporatism in the derogatory sense, i.e.,

Corporatism In Popular Usage
Contemporary popular (as opposed to social science) usage of the term is more pejorative, especially when used in the shorter form corporatism emphasizing the role of business corporations in government decision-making at the expense of the public. The power of business to affect government legislation through lobbying and other avenues of influence in order to promote their interests is usually seen as detrimental to those of the public. In this respect, corporatism may be characterized as an extreme form of regulatory capture, and is also termed corporatocracy, a form of plutocracy. If there is substantial military-corporate collaboration it is often called militarism or the military-industrial complex.


Edited by basho, 15 January 2008 - 01:16 PM.


#22 s123

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 03:26 PM

I'm more frightened by fundamentalist evangelical religions, be it Christianity or Islam,
that educate their kids and teach them creationism, self righteousness and domination.


I have to agree.
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#23 JonesGuy

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 10:23 PM

I'm afraid of the fabled "gun that can shoot through the internet"

I'll have to change my posting style.

#24 Heliotrope

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 02:12 AM

I'm afraid of brain-computer uploading or mind-transfer.

It will be a copy of me but my original mind likely stays with organic body, or if i'm transferred , hackers will hack my brain-computer mind and consume my digital soul and make me a slave.


I'm afraid of AI virtual reality going to far, matrix like and we're controlled by superior intelligences

#25 neonnexus

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 11:38 PM

I am not afraid of nanotechnology, I am aware of the potential risks, so are the scientists who are progressing the technology. I also believe a runaway self replicating army of nanobots could be countered. I also don't believe anyone would be so stupid as to develop such nanobots without being able to turn them off in an instant.

I don't know how superior to human AI would act but the benefits in my mind far outweigh the potential risks. I don't think a race of super AI would self terminate nor annihilate us. In my opinion the worst I foresee them doing is ignoring us, moving on and leaving us behind. I imagine however that we will develop AI simultaneously with digital human augmentation and therefore will be incorporating that superior AI into ourselves as well as creating it as its own entity. We will evolve with them.

I am pro technology and development so non of these really worry me, however as I have to choose one, I have chosen particle acceleration as I know the least about it and for all I know we could create some kind of new particle that begins an escalating explosive reaction.

#26 mentatpsi

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 05:18 PM

what about those mini black hole makers? Does this just go into particle accelerator fears?

As far as the future media, i watched this history channel (could have been military channel) program awhile ago about this aircraft which was able to intercept radio frequencies as well as modify what was being seen on the TV, and they later on began to talk about technologies which were similar to electric fields which could induce anything from fundamentalist fears to bliss... if a government truly wanted authoritarian power, with the growing rate of technology, funds at their disposable, and the inherited ignorance of the populace, i kind of wonder if we'll ever see such technologies used.

Edited by mysticpsi, 04 May 2008 - 05:24 PM.


#27 Cyberbrain

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 05:26 PM

What about bullets, guns, tanks, missiles ... all of these are becoming more accurate and more deadly. And how about EMP? If we're all in a way cyborgs in the future an EMP will short circuit us.

#28 forever freedom

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 07:38 AM

I think that the technologies we have to be most careful about are Artificial Intelligence and Nanotechnology, but appearently that's not everyone's opinion.

actually, I don't know enough about either to have an intelligent opinion one way or the other.
Please explain your reason for concern.



Wow did i post that on December 16th? I thought it was only a few weeks ago at most... lol time runs fast.


Well i worry about AI because i don't want the machines taking over the earth and turning us into some sort of pets or lab rats. Or they just deciding to destroy the world. There are lots of dangers when we consider creating entities that are more intelligent than ourselves. There are many factors that we may not see when creating these smarter-than-us entities. I kind of dismiss the argument that we will merge with machines so there will be no problem because before we merge with them we will already have created them, so there will be a gap of time when we won't be the smartest race on earth anymore, and that kind of thought is, to say the least, unpleasant to me.

And about nanotech, well there are so many dangers when we develop a highly sophisticated level of nanotech that i don't even know where to start. Among the biggest concerns are the famous self replicating nanomachines, the use of nanotech by terrorists or in wars, a combination of unfriendly AI and highly developed nanotech (that would most certainly be fatal to us), and so on...

#29 technico

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 06:31 PM

fun :|w

http://www.livescien...earth_mp-1.html


That site is way outclassed by the original Exit Mundi

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#30 VictorBjoerk

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 08:10 PM

I'm afraid of the potential consequences of antimatter




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