Technology historian David Brock introduces “wishful worries,” which he defines as “problems that it would be nice to have,” in a 2019 essay for the Los Angeles Book Review.
When these enthusiasts downplay practical as well as ethical objections, we take their hype with a grain a salt.
But critics of techno-enhancement, who superficially might seem more credible, indulge in hype too, to alarm us. Perhaps some “critics” are sneakily trying to promote techno-enhancement with reverse psychology. Wouldn’t it be awful to quadruple your IQ, they ask us, or to be happy all the time, or to live hundreds of years? Crazy-like-a-fox Elon Musk, I suspect, rants about the threat of super-intelligent machines in order to market his own investments in artificial intelligence. Sincere or not, wishful worrying leaves the public with a grossly distorted picture of science’s potential.