Musk says Unabomber ‘might not be wrong’ that tech is bad
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has caused a stir by suggesting that the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, “might not be wrong” in his belief that technology is detrimental to society. The tweet came on the same day Kaczynski died in his jail cell aged 81, having waged a 17-year anti-tech campaign in the 1970s and 1980s. Kaczynski built 16 homemade bombs, which he sent to individuals he believed were destroying the environment and accelerating the advance of technology. His manifesto, Industrial Society and Its Future, warned about how rapidly expanding technology could potentially pose a threat to humanity. While Musk has suggested Kaczynski had a point, the entrepreneur is also arguably the face of advanced tech. His brain-implant company Neuralink recently got FDA approval to launch a first-in-human clinical study, while Musk has spoken publicly of his fears of AI threatening to “annihilate humanity”.
Who was the Unabomber?
Ted Kaczynski waged a 17-year, anti-tech campaign in the 1970s and 1980s, during which he built 16 homemade bombs and sent them to individuals he believed were destroying the environment and accelerating the advance of technology. His manifesto, Industrial Society and Its Future, warned about how rapidly expanding technology could potentially pose a threat to humanity.
How did Elon Musk react to the Unabomber’s death?
Musk suggested that Kaczynski “might not be wrong” in his belief that technology is detrimental to society.
What has Elon Musk previously said about AI?
The billionaire has spoken publicly of his fears of AI threatening to “annihilate humanity”, and that there is a “non-zero chance” that rogue advanced AI could do so.
What is Neuralink?
Neuralink is a brain-implant company founded by Musk that aims to link human brains directly with computers.
Why did Musk call for a halt to AI development in April 2021?
Musk called for a six-month pause in further developing AI-backed models like ChatGPT until regulators developed and implemented safety protocols.
“Tech Criticized by Unabomber May Have Valid Points,” Musk Suggests
Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX and Tesla, recently sparked controversy with a tweet suggesting that the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, may have been right about the detrimental effects of technology on society. Kaczynski, who died in his prison cell on September 18th at the age of 81, waged a 17-year anti-tech campaign, constructing 16 homemade bombs and mailing them to people he believed were destroying the environment and creating a more technically advanced society. He also penned a 35,000-word manifesto titled “Industrial Society and Its Future,” which warned about the threats of rapidly expanding technology to humans and the environment. The manifesto, better known as “The Unabomber Manifesto,” was published as an eight-page spread in The Washington Post and ultimately led to Kaczynski’s arrest.
In response to a tweet by author Ashley St. Clair citing Kaczynski’s death and a quote from his manifesto, Musk tweeted back: “He might not be wrong.” Musk has long been a vocal advocate for advancing technology, but has also repeatedly warned of its potential dangers. His brain-implant company Neuralink recently received the FDA’s approval to launch the first-in-human clinical study, which he claims will help paralyzed people walk again and cure other neurological ailments, including blindness. However, Musk has also warned of advanced artificial intelligence turning on humans, which Kaczynski also expressed concern about. Ultimately, Musk’s tweet and Kaczynski’s anti-tech campaign raise questions about how technology can be developed in a way that minimizes harm to society and the environment.