Closing the week, futurist Jamie Metzl to offer guidance on ‘The AI Revolution’

Jamie Metzl

Technology and healthcare futurist Jamie Metzl will close this week’s Chautauqua Lecture Series theme of “The AI Revolution” at 10:45 a.m. today in the Amphitheater. 

He will discuss his newest book, Superconvergence: How the Genetics, Biotech, and AI Revolutions Will Transform Our Lives, Work, and World, explain how technological change will impact daily life, and offer guidance for how society can build a safe future with emerging technologies.

“There’s a very real possibility that AI and other new technologies could be abused, and we need to be honest about that,” he said.

Through most of his career, Metzl has focused on researching, writing and educating others about the larger implications of the computer, biotechnology and genetics revolutions. 

The author of six books, he is the founder and chair of OneShared.World, a global social movement that aims to spark action over common global challenges that humanity faces.

Following his testimony in 2008 before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs about the challenges that he felt needed to be addressed concerning artificial intelligence and genetics, he realized his message wasn’t getting through to people. When he decided to write two science fiction novels, Genesis Code and Eternal Sonata, he wanted to focus on stories that people could relate to.

“When I was on my book tours for those novels and I explained the science to people in ways that they could understand, I could see people’s eyes getting wide as they recognized something really big was happening, and they had to be a part of that story,” he said.

In 2019, he was a member of the World Health Organization’s expert advisory committee on human genome editing, where he conducted further research on human genetic engineering and learned about the large implications of these technologies.

“The big stories of this moment of human habitation on Earth are the advent of human-engineered intelligence and human re-engineered life,” he said. “How we as a species manage these superpowers will, in many ways, determine not just our future, but the future of all of life on planet Earth.”

His latest book, Superconvergence, explores the intersections of AI, gene editing, and other technologies and outlines how they are already changing the world.

In his lecture, Metzl will recognize the fears that many people have about the possibility of these technologies being abused, but he will also highlight the positive outcomes.

“If the only story we tell is about harm, we aren’t going to be able to embrace and engage the very positive potentials that these same capabilities offer,” he said.

As the number of humans on the planet exceeds 8 billion, people’s needs and demands will continue to grow, particularly when it comes to healthcare and nutrition.

He said that as new genetic and AI technologies develop, they have the potential to prevent future diseases, grow more crops using less resources, and produce industrial materials and fuels rather than digging them up.

“If we don’t make sure that our best values are woven into the application of our most powerful technologies, these technologies have the potential to do real harm,” he said. “But if we do everything possible to ensure that our best values guide the application of our powerful technologies, there’s almost no limit to the good we’ll be able to do.”

Tags : AIartificial intelligenceBiotechJamie Metzlmorning lectureMorning Lecture PreviewSuperconvergence: How the Genetics Biotech and AI Revolutions Will Transform Our Lives Work and World

The author Aden Graves