Jason Matheny, the director of Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, sent me this little-known story about Trinity:
“Before the Trinity Test, some Manhattan Project physicists were concerned that the test could ignite the atmosphere, killing everyone on the planet. By one account, Enrico Fermi thought the probability was as high as 10%. It was only after the Trinity Test that calculations were performed showing why this would be impossible. We should do better. In the next few decades, we’ll face new risks from emerging technologies. When these technologies can be highly consequential — for example, AI applied to strategic missile warning, or gene editing applied to pandemic pathogens — we should perform careful risk assessments beforehand rather than after the fact.”
Read the full article at Axios.