Project SyndicateProject Syndicate

The post-human desert

By Slavoj Žižek

07 Apr 1903 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

Slavoj Žižek explores the ethical implications of AI development: can we pause the unstoppable progress, and should we? A thought-provoking analysis for PS.

Unlike past technological innovations, artificial intelligence is not about humanity’s mastery over nature, but rather about relinquishing control altogether. Whether we realize it or not, the old anthropocentric arrogance that technology enables may soon give way to human irrelevance and meaninglessness.

LJUBLJANA – The Future of Life Institute’s open letter demanding a six-month precautionary pause on artificial-intelligence development has already been signed by thousands of high-profile figures, including Elon Musk. The signatories worry that AI labs are “locked in an out-of-control race” to develop and deploy increasingly powerful systems that no one – including their creators – can understand, predict, or control.

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