Right now, we are facing multiple threats, each of which alone could bring us to the brink of extinction. These range from nuclear war, to bioweapons, synthetic biology, insect decline, AI gone rogue, oceans that, according to predictions, will have more plastic than fish by 2050. And of course, the full throttle global push to connect to the internet every "thing", being, place and event on Earth, in the sky, and in the ocean; not to mention gaming, social media, and the many other for-profit platforms designed to generate data, manipulate minds, and sell products.
In much the way that tools increase the capabilities and reach of our bodies and minds – for e.g., a hammer affords the hand greater force – technology and AI extend the capabilities and reach, not just of a hand, but of our entire civilization.
Technology and AI exponentialize and accelerate nearly all undertakings – good, bad, or other – that we humans engage in.
Up till now, Earth could handle human foibles and our youthful hubris. But layering technology and AI onto a civilization that worships progress at all costs, and that sees itself as separate from the natural world, is at best a recipe for disaster. As Daniel Schmachtenberg says,
"We've created a social sphere that's not aligned with the biosphere it depends upon."