Human Thought, AI, and the Human Future

About Carl

I spent several decades doing research on the structure and design of DNA-binding proteins, making some fundamental contributions to the field. In 2001, I resigned my positions as a tenured Professor at MIT and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to look at some even-more-critical questions about the power and limits of human thought and prospects for the human future.

After dedicating years to this research on thought, I came to realize that there is a dangerous mismatch between 1) the capacity of the human mind and 2) the complexity of the world that humans have built. (This complexity is exacerbated even further by ongoing developments in AI). This creates a kind of “complexity trap” that threatens modern civilization by making it hard for governments to deal with the challenges of the Anthropocene. I thus have developed — and continue to offer — new ways to help society work amidst this complexity, thereby improving prospects for a livable human future.