There are countless "examples" of the species' short-sighted behavior, despite all the available information that should lead to a collective "re-think." Most recently, consider the efforts mande to map out the human genome... and then the "knee-jerk" reactionism that followed soon after its actualization! And the public had been given "due notice," repeatedly informed that the research efforts were in dead ernest... timelines were even given. Nowadays we have countless experts - including myself, in the field of cybernetics research exclaiming about the imminent arrival of sentient "artifitial intelligence:" but the 'buzz' amongst the populace is all-but-negligible:
To be certain, Ray Kurzweil's "singularity" is almost a foregone conclusion rather than some fanciful notion from the realm fo science fiction! And Professor Hugo De Garis' "artilects" & subsquent "artilect wars" are more than just one of many possibile scenarios.>> My own group has a "finished model of an 'artilect' - one that is "rigorous & accu-rated." We only await the "maturation" of various "real-time" technologies, e.g., the sensory, before we can fully actualize a prototype. We estimate the advent of fully sentient "applied machine intellect" (AMI) to occur within a decade from now... with or without my group's participation. We simply cannot be the only group that has met with this kind of success.
Moreover, the industry surrounding cybernetics research is understandably reticent and secretive because of what this technology represents - the ultimate "O.S." or golden ring of all cybernetics - which promises wealth on the order of Bill Gates' acquired assets. My group has been vocal and is now conducting an "outrreach" only because we want to keep the "trust" of the public eye. We seek to avoid becoming an anathema because our prototypes arrive with no due notice or due diligence to inform and educate the public. Yet despite our borderline hysterics, the responces we receive range from mild interest or ones of incredulence... and ny group HATES being perceived as "Chicken Littles" who are "borrowing trouble."
KNOWING what we know, gives us that sense of 'urgency' to have humanity act "procatively" (for once) and look squarely at their probable futures & the timelines that technological advances present! It's just more "prudent" to err on the side of caution. There is NO "hype" or "hyperbole" surrounding the ever-mounting breakthroughs surrounding cybernetics research. It IS coming "fast & furious," and when it finally "hits the skids," it will be too late for humanity to reach fair-minded, non-reactionary concenses about how best to "manage" this technology. We half-jokingly refer to AMI as having major "hip-action" - "high impact potential" (HIP)... but this IS no joke... this technology will result in a "mixed bag" of both promise & peril - for analogies, we use mythological references like Prometheus UNbounded and a Pandorian "shipping crate." Yes, the "singularity" approacheth... along with countless other "cusps of catastrophe..." and humanity prances obliviously through this forest of great peril... "LA-DE-DUH!"
The question for my group is whether humanity will allow a laissez-fair mentality to prevail by which it will be met with a "no-holds-barred" future, or if humankind will finally "grow-up^^^" before the "fit hits the shan!" To be sure, with even a modicum of reflection, it should be easy for anyone to undrestand that this technology represents the fourth (and final?) wave (to use a 'Tofflerite' euphemizm) which will either ultimately serve to deplete, deteriorate, deflate, dehumanize, or degredate the species OR one that WE COLLECTIVELY will ride to new horizons, understandings, convivial lifestyles, and consumate love eternal (?). HINT: Consider the many possible applications on "embedded systems" alone... good luck "declenching" the ol' "B-H" after that particular "thought experiment!"