Dawn or Doom: the Risks and Rewards of Emerging Techlogies presents 35 original essays by experts in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, synthetic biology, cybercrime, and space travel on the societal effects of these new techlogies. What if what we had thought was linear societal change driven by techlogy is actually exponential? What does that mean for us? Is the increase in the rate of change of techlogy itself a cause for concern? What is the future of work if robots can do all our work for us? What do concepts like privacy and security mean in an environment in which techlogy plays an increasingly large but sometimes invisible role? Will changes advance too fast for us to be able to recognize or mitigate the dangers? Can legislators hope to write effective laws regarding the techlogies? Do we kw eugh about the science that these techlogies are based on to even answer straightforward questions about danger and opportunity? Issues such as these are what Purdue University's annual Dawn or Doom conference was created to explore. With a foreword by Purdue University President Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., Dawn or Doom: the Risks and Rewards of Emerging Techlogies brings original essays from the speakers at the first two Dawn or Doom events that address segments of these concerns.
Gerry McCartney is Purdue University System CIO, vice president for information technology, and Oesterle Professor of Information Technology. He has been described as one of the nation's leading innovators in higher education technology, and has directed the development and launch of dozens of innovations in improving classroom success, scientific computing and grid computing. Steve Tally is senior strategist for STEM in Purdue University's Public Affairs unit. Tally is the author of two books, Bland Ambition (Harcourt) and Almost America (HarperCollins). He is available on Twitter, @sciencewriter