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The Foresight Institute Podcast

Existential Hope Podcast: Trent McConaghy | From Starships to Tokens: Pioneering Futures

Season 2, Ep. 20

Trent McConaghy is the founder of Ocean Protocol, a decentralized platform aimed at democratizing AI data sharing while maintaining privacy. With a career starting in AI research for national defence, McConaghy transitioned to entrepreneurship, where his first startup, ADA, was acquired by Synopsys in 2004. His work continued with Solido, an AI venture aiding Moore's Law, culminating in an acquisition by Siemens in 2017. His current venture, Ocean Protocol, follows earlier initiatives like the ascribe NFT platform and BigchainDB. McConaghy's enduring mission is to equalize AI opportunities and ensure humanity's significance in a future of autonomous technology.


Session Summary


This podcast episode delves into Trent McConaghy's integration of AI with global challenges, highlighting his innovative strategies in technology and environmentalism.

  • The Map: Trent discusses the need for a resource like Wikipedia to show potential technological outcomes – his "Starships and Tokens" outlines pathways to major goals of humanity, from superhuman intelligence to reshaping the cosmos.
  • AI Evolution and Impact: He highlights AI's growth, especially in creative fields and CAD. Discusses AI-induced job displacement, with UBI as a potential solution. He mentions projects like Nature 2.0 for surplus wealth generation.
  • AI Superintelligence Challenge: Focuses on keeping humans competitive with AI through high-bandwidth BCIs and addressing regulatory challenges.
  • Climate Change Strategy: He emphasizes addressing climate change impacts on society, exploring special zones for BCI research and governance adaptations, and stresses the need for aggressive BCI development and jurisdictional arbitrage for research and climate adaptation. He also proposes a climate-focused DAO for legal actions and addressing investment risks in flood-prone areas like Miami.
  • Vision of Eucatastrophe: Trent's long-term goals for humanity include developing Dyson spheres and achieving human superintelligence.


Full transcript, list of resources, and art piece: https://www.existentialhope.com/podcasts


Existential Hope was created to collect positive and possible scenarios for the future so that we can have more people commit to creating a brighter future and to begin mapping out the main developments and challenges that need to be navigated to reach it. Existential Hope is a Foresight Institute project.


Hosted by Allison Duettmann and Beatrice Erkers


Follow Us: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Existential Hope Instagram


Explore every word spoken on this podcast through Fathom.fm.

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