Joy still urges relinquishment of risky tech development

April 9, 2001 | Source: KurzweilAI

PALO ALTO — In a reprise of his controversial Wired article last April, “Why the future doesn’t need us,” Sun Microsystems chief scientist Bill Joy spoke at a Wired-sponsored event at Stanford University last Thursday.

Joy said the article got little response from the high-tech world. “It came out at the peak of IPOs,” he said, “when they were more concerned with launching”

He cited new forms of pathogens, unpredictable effects of genetically modified foods and the high probability of a “psycho” having access to dangerous technologies on the Internet as examples of risks that have emerged as key issues in the past year. “It’s OK if they just have a gun, but what if they do something irreversible, like foot and mouth disease? The likelihood we will be still here in 100 years is slightly better than 50-50.”

Joy is currently writing a book to bring his concerns to the general public.