There is growing evidence that the worst-case scenario at a global scale – an existential risk – is increasingly likely and driven by technological development. The concerns of this report are biotechnology and artificial intelligence, as major drivers of accelerating change. Importantly, both existential risk and technological hazards are within the scope of the Sendai Framework.
Historically, the risks from emerging technologies have often been small compared to their benefits. That is no longer the case. Because of the increasing pace of technological change across the globe, it is becoming more difficult for risk governance to keep up. While new technologies can bring society enormous benefits and significantly contribute to achieving global goals such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, they usually have unintended effects, often cause harm accidentally, and are sometimes misused.
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