Issues Magazine

Articles about automation

Technology’s Slippery Slope

By James Newton-Thomas

The problems we face from technology and AI are not a point on the horizon – they are starting now – and the issue is not the technologies themselves but the inability of our current systems and ideologies to adapt to them ethically.

Many years ago I took an opportunity to climb Uluru. Climbing the rock is now discouraged by the local indigenous people, partially on cultural grounds but also because it is actually very dangerous. The rock is an undulating series of domes, very smooth, very hard and red with precipitous sides. Being dome-like, the surface has no sudden edge; it slowly increases its gradient until such an angle that falling – some tourists have toppled to their deaths – is inevitable.