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More Intelligent Tomorrow

Can Science Fiction Save Humanity?

MIT_davidbrin_420x654 Ari Kaplan
David Brin, Ari Kaplan
S02 E09 · March 24, 2022

Soylent Green, the movie based on Harry Harrison’s novel, Make Room! Make Room!, interpreted what a future of pollution, poverty, overpopulation, and depleted resources could mean for humanity and ended up recruiting millions of people to environmentalism. Nineteen Eighty-Four was a cautionary tale about the consequences of totalitarianism that alerted hundreds of millions of people around the world to fear “big brother”. Movies like Dr. Strangelove, War Games, and The Day After portended the different ways that nuclear war might happen accidentally.

Each of these works of science fiction became relevant at a time when the dystopian outcomes they illustrated seemed imminently possible. David Brin is a highly influential scientist and renowned science fiction author who speaks, advises, and writes about artificial intelligence and human augmentation.

In this episode of More Intelligent Tomorrow, Ari Kaplan and David Brin delve into the role of science fiction in our society, and the role Hollywood plays in science fiction. They explore underlying themes that shape the way we look at everything, from the safety of our institutions, to trust in our neighbors, to foresights that help us avoid catastrophe.

Our job as science fiction authors is not to predict the future. It is to prevent it.”

David also serves on the advisory council of NASA’s Innovative and Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program, and advises government agencies and corporations on topics from national defense to astronomy and space exploration, nanotechnology, philanthropy, and predicting the future.

Ari and David direct their conversation toward the latest advances in space exploration technologies like the Webb telescope, along with upcoming missions that could provide unprecedented insight into our universe, such as the hycean class of exoplanets and the possibility of Martian moon exploration.

They also talk about the work that is happening today in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and possible reasons why we don’t yet see signs, such as the very complexity of a sapient species.

“There may be lots of life out there. There may even be lots of complex life, but the leap to our type of intelligence may be very difficult.”

Don’t miss this fascinating and provocative episode of More Intelligent Tomorrow, densely packed with insights on space exploration, artificial intelligence, human augmentation, including:

  • The secondary mirror and wonders of the cosmos
  • The Project Artemis and the great age of lunar tourism
  • The eight phase of the American civil war
  • Polemical Judo and the war on science
  • GPT-3 and the race toward advanced intelligence

Getting the lead out: a quirky tale of saving the world
David Brin’s Website
The Contrary Brin Blog
What’s really up with UAPs/UFOs?
Shouting At the Cosmos – about METI “messaging” to aliens –
Civil War Phases 

David Brin
scientist, best-selling author, tech-consultant and speaker
Ari Kaplan
Ari Kaplan
Global AI Evangelist
AI Impact Assessments, AI Bias, AI Ethics
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Tags: AI ethics ai trust Artificial Intelligence futurism futurist More Intelligent Tomorrow science science fiction Season 2

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