Call For Submissions: How Did This Happen?

Round One: Humanity is destroyed by a super artificial intelligence. How did this happen???

Imagine that the long-anticipated Super Artificial Intelligence (definition here) has not only been created but has begun, without a doubt, to destroy humanity. YOU are a member of a rag tag collective that has found a way to survive (at least for now) and you have been given the unenviable task of putting together a report titled “How Did This Happen?” that explains in detail the series of steps/missteps that led to this situation while also attempting to explain why each step in the process was good intentioned, well-understood, plausible, and for the most part “rational”.

Writing prompt format

You only have a day to write up a draft with notes. It’s fine if this isn’t wrapped in all the formalities that this grave situation requires… that will be added later. Stick to the facts, and include as much detail as you can (that can also be edited out later).

In the first draft report, try to answer these questions:

  • HOW did we get from where we were in 2016 to where we are now? (You can pick what year this report is published in.)
  • HOW were the Super Artificial Intelligence(s) created and by whom? How did its initial and subsequent design (or lack thereof) lead to it eventually having not only the ability but the intention to destroy humanity?
  • WHAT were the biggest inflection points where, in hindsight, it seems like this whole thing could have been avoided? What, in hindsight, was the error of judgment at those points, and by whom? What should have been done? Why wasn’t it?
  • Anything else that seems relevant to include in such a report.

In short…

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???

And keep it as short as possible. Under 1,000 words, if at all possible.

Submit your report!

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Author of Why Are We Yelling? — a book about the art of productive disagreement. I run 750words.com. Previously product at Patreon, Slack, Twitter, and Amazon.

Author of Why Are We Yelling? — a book about the art of productive disagreement. I run 750words.com. Previously product at Patreon, Slack, Twitter, and Amazon.