Technological Arms Race: For better or for worse

This week marks the 75th anniversary of the day that the world changed.

Scientists from the University of Chicago created the first controlled, self-sustained nuclear chain reaction, a breakthrough that raised new ethical challenges around weaponry and accelerated the end of World War II in the Pacific. This anniversary comes as tensions between North Korea and the US are high and the communist state’s persistent deployment of ballistic missiles constantly reminds the world of the threat of nuclear warfare.

This raises the critical question: When is the advancement of technology not necessarily good?

The Prototype has previously reported on the dubious ethics of military AI, as well as Alphabet CEO Eric Schmidt’s warning of China taking over as the world leader of the AI arms race. A new report for CNN by business analytics firm Gionivi showed that China and Russia are both set to take the pole position in front of the US who can “lead the coming revolution or fall victim to it”. In order to outcompete one another, this may push the US, China and Russia to cross the ethical lines that scientists and critics have strongly drawn.

How far are they willing to go? A Future of Life Institute video reveals a dangerous possible future.

Read more: NPR / CNN / Reuters / YouTube

Image: United States Army Air Forces – B29 Superfortress

This story is taken from the 01 December 2017 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.