Problems: Existential Risk.

Dark Conference


An anti-thesis of TED: A Conferenece On "Ideas worth NOT spreading"


Some ideas may be potentially so harmful that we don't talk about them. However, not talking may mean losing preparatory strategies to deal with them once they occur anyway. The conference of this sort would happen as follows:

  • People run their logs of "Ideas worth NOT spreading" privately.
  • They do not share them, but inform how many of them they have (or their crypto-handle has). Just a number.
  • Once the number of potential participants and ideas is large enough, they decide to meet and discuss, but not in a usual way:
    • The discussions would happen minimizing risk and exposure of the information:
      • The particular matching of idea owners and experts with deep ethical, moral and risk-analytical skills, sworn to secrecy would be arranged to listen and judge.
      • The idea owners would then be allowed to talk to them individually about their dangerous ideas, that could pose civilization-level risks.
    • The judges would then provide the risk-descriptive features of the ideas to rank them based on categories, level of harm, type of harm, time-horizon, etc.
  • Then, the pairs would be brought back to discuss together in secret about the possible strategies of preventing the harm, so neither is alone with the risky idea anymore. Each pair would develop recommendations for policies and inventions to avert the danger, or minimize it to the level, that the ideas could be shared more broadly.
  • Reasonable policies would get implemented in order.
  • More expensive inventions would get promoted for after deeper investigation.

The above is just a sketch, and a particular algorithm of dealing with such ideas would have to be developed. Perhaps using specialized cryptographic protocols, or otherwise infallible way, say, as a special type of smart contract.

The main point of having such conference, is to have a safe pathway for the people that found dangerous inventions to prevent the negative outcomes before someone else comes up with them.


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Important. Who would facilitate this conference? It seems to me that scientists and governments would be involved here, but to find a common language they need some good facilitators.

// People run their logs of "Ideas worth NOT spreading" privately.

  • How so?

// They .. inform how many of them they have. .. Once the number of potential participants and ideas is large enough, they decide to meet

Why the number is important? How about an estimated damage of an idea instead? Having 100 low-impact ideas to discuss is not the same as 5 high-impact ideas, which may be more urgent and important to look at.

    : Inyuki
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