A number of Silicon Valley executives are preparing for societal collapse in the event of an apocalyptic event, according to a feature published in The New Yorker this week.
“Doomsday Prep for the Super Rich” details some of the reason that several technology elites believe could lead to societal collapse, including the possibility that artificial intelligence will replace so many human jobs that people will turn on the technology companies that created it.
LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman told the magazine he estimated “50-plus percent” of industry leaders are preparing for life in an underground bunker. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said, “I own a couple of motorcycles. I have a bunch of guns and ammo. Food. I figure that, with that, I can hole up in my house for some amount of time.” He also decided to undergo corrective laser eye surgery in 2015 because “if the world ends—and not even if the world ends, but if we have trouble—getting contacts or glasses is going to be a huge pain in the ass.”
According to the magazine, many executives have set up private Facebook groups where they discuss all possible aspects of life in the fallout, from “tips on gas masks, bunkers, and locations safe from the effects of climate change.”
In the final weeks of his presidency, the Obama administration released a report on the potential effects of the growth in artificial intelligence, saying that although the changes “will open up new opportunities for individuals, the economy, and society, they will also disrupt the current livelihoods of millions of Americans.”