John Markoff on the future

He’s the tech writer for the New York Times. From an interview with him at Online Journalism Review:

JM: I read Bill Joy’s Wired piece with great, great despair two or three years ago. It’s not clear to me that Joy was right on nanotechnology or robotics or AI — that’s still I think pretty far-fetched stuff — but the ability to create pathogens and biological weapons really quite worries me. And I feel like it’s just a matter of time, and that’s one of the things that makes me so pessimistic. I think there’s nothing built into the nature of technological progress that determines that the world will get better as a whole. It can go either way and everything just seems to look more and more bleak sometimes.