The great downside dilemma for risky emerging technologies

  title={The great downside dilemma for risky emerging technologies},
  author={Seth D. Baum},
  journal={Physica Scripta},
  • S. Baum
  • Published 1 December 2014
  • Political Science
  • Physica Scripta
Some emerging technologies promise to significantly improve the human condition, but come with a risk of failure so catastrophic that human civilization may not survive. This article discusses the great downside dilemma posed by the decision of whether or not to use these technologies. The dilemma is: use the technology, and risk the downside of catastrophic failure, or do not use the technology, and suffer through life without it. Historical precedents include the first nuclear weapon test and… 

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