Nonzero Newsletter
Robert Wright's Nonzero
AI, Techno-optimism, and Cosmic Purpose (Robert Wright & Kevin Kelly)

AI, Techno-optimism, and Cosmic Purpose (Robert Wright & Kevin Kelly)


This episode includes an Overtime segment that’s available to paid subscribers. If you’re not a paid subscriber, we of course encourage you to become one. If you are a paid subscriber, you can access the complete conversation either via the audio and video on this post or by setting up the paid-subscriber podcast feed, which includes all exclusive audio content. To set that up, simply grab the RSS feed from this page (by first clicking the “...” icon on the audio player) and paste it into your favorite podcast app.

If you have trouble completing the process, check out this super-simple how-to guide.

0:00 Kevin’s place in cyberspace history
6:30 Are we grappling with the pace of tech progress rationally?
20:25 Why Kevin identifies as a techno-optimist
22:48 Is it too early to regulate AI?
29:57 The noosphere, the technium, and species of mind
37:47 Do AI doomers think too highly of thinking?
41:49 Evolution and the question of cosmic purpose
48:18 Should we see AIs as “artificial aliens”?

Robert Wright (Nonzero, The Evolution of God, Why Buddhism Is True) and Kevin Kelly (Wired, The Inevitable, What Technology Wants). Recorded April 29, 2024.

Overtime titles:

0:00 Kevin's spiritual transformation
7:11 Will AI be like a god to humans? Vice-versa?
18:14 How expecting near-term death changed Kevin’s life
32:30 A bettor way of making AI predictions

This post is for paid subscribers

Nonzero Newsletter
Robert Wright's Nonzero
Conversations with a series of people who have nothing in common except that program host Robert Wright is curious about what they’re thinking.