As a species, we have always been fascinated with the power of writing. We have postulated the fall of societies due to their lack of recordkeeping; we have mythologized the ancients who authored our prayers, histories, spells, and laws; we have reveled in the magic that comes from bringing an idea from its inception to a form that can be shared with others. Language has always been an infinitely generative system, and there is perhaps no greater demonstration of this fact than the writing you are reading right now.
But what will it mean to live in a world where this system provides an exponential increase in the output of all human creative capability? What is the significance of a technology that can be used for good or ill, but which cannot be uninvented?
We are not here today to celebrate the humble sentence, or to marvel at the power that enables a mere handful of sounds or symbols to express our collective understanding of the world. Instead, we will investigate how this system can lead us into darkness. We will discuss how this technology can be used as a tool to manipulate reality, and whether we should strive to reach its apogee.