Bill Joy Still Worried

from the who-isn't? dept

Wired Magazine’s latest interview is with everyone’s favorite worrier, Bill Joy, talking about why he’s both optimistic and pessimistic about the future. He remains, as you might expect, quite opinionated, believing that there are plenty of near term opportunities for technology as computers get more powerful. However, he’s still worrying about how we’re all going to blow ourselves up if we don’t come up with some sort of Hippocratic Oath for technologists.

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Comments on “Bill Joy Still Worried”

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dorpus says:

Convergence Theory

Traditionally, computer science attracted people who are smart but antisocial. Medical schools have screened applicants half for intelligence and half for ethics.

However, there is convergence occurring:

1. As computers take on importance throughout society, computer science departments cannot afford to graduate immature pranksters who enjoy writing viruses.

2. Medical schools cannot afford to graduate computer-illiterate graduates.

3. The frontier of medicine and biology increasingly requires expertise in advanced math and computer science.

4. As the world’s population grows both larger and older, medical ethics become an unaffordable luxury.

Perhaps we could see a future in which computer science departments carefully screen applicants for their ethics, expects them to have volunteer work in their background; whereas medical schools expect applicants to have 2 years of math, at least 2 programming courses, and cares less about ethics. We’ll have more MDs who look like slick MBA’s with laptops, working for biotechs that breed millions of mutant creatures for genetics experiments. Computer science departments will have more squishy humanitarians whose mission in life is to save the starving baby whales of the Amazon rainforest.

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