What just happened? Billionaire venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has just published his 5,200-word Techno-Optimist Manifesto in which he makes several bold claims. These include an accusation that slowing down AI development is akin to committing murder, that technology can solve the world's climate problems, and that the global population can easily expand to 50 billion people before we settle on other planets.
Should you have a lot of spare time, you can check out Andreessen's 15-part manifesto, which is written with poem-style line breaks, right here.
The work covers several subjects, including the current hot topic of AI. Andreessen believes the technology has the ability to fix many causes of death, such as car crashes, pandemics, and friendly fire.
There have been plenty of calls for a slowdown in AI development and the introduction of tighter regulation in the industry - even OpenAI boss Sam Altman and Elon Musk agree something should be done. Andreessen, on the other hand, warns that any deceleration of AI will cost lives. "Deaths that were preventable by the AI that was prevented from existing is a form of murder," he writes, having previously slammed the possibility of AI regulation by the US government.
The investor goes on to highlight sustainability, social responsibility, socialism, and risk management as enemies of technology and life, part of a demoralization campaign. He also says, "Our enemies are not bad people – but rather bad ideas," though he seems quite upset at Communists, Luddites, people with victim mentalities, and "cartels."
Andreessen calls the threats technology poses to jobs, wages, inequality, children, etc., "lies." While it is true that more studies show artificial intelligence will likely augment more positions than it replaces, generative AI tools are costing people their jobs, as we have seen on several occasions.
"The myth of Prometheus – in various updated forms like Frankenstein, Oppenheimer, and Terminator – haunts our nightmares," he writes.
The author has some controversial views on the global population, too. He says that the planet is dramatically underpopulated, the opposite view of many researchers, and that it could quite easily expand to 50 billion people or more before humanity settles on other planets. "We believe the ultimate mission of technology is to advance life both on Earth and in the stars."
"We are not primitives, cowering in fear of the lightning bolt," Andreessen writes. "We are the apex predator; the lightning works for us."
The manifesto finishes by asking others to join the Techno-Optimism revolution. Andreessen states that "The water is warm" (and possibly spiked with LSD). It's also noted that the views expressed are Andreessen's own and not those of his venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz or its affiliates.