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The development of new technologies, such as the printing press, the atomic bomb and computers, have played a very large role in shaping human history. It is therefore likely that future technologies will play a very large role in shaping the future.

Artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, atomically precise manufacturing and methods of interstellar space travel are a few particularly plausible candidates for technologies which could one day be transformative. However, the most important technologies of the future could be technologies which almost no one has considered before, in the same way that no one living the nineteenth century could have predicted the atomic bomb.

New technologies can make it easier to solve existing problems, and on the whole seem to have made the world much better so far, but they can also bring with them new problems and risks. As with nuclear weapons, if any of these technologies are particularly powerful, the risks could even be existential.