Paul Saffo from Stanford University is a forecaster and essayist. He explored AGI at the Singularity Summit 2007 in the context of popularization. Even as the public begins to join the AGI discussion, pessimism is popular right now. News reporting and commentary are lurid and pessimistic. Saffo suggested that what we need are positive and compelling visions of the future and AGI in popular fiction, but not by scientists turned writers. Poets, authors, artists, performance artists, and other creative individuals need to begin exploring the concept of AGI separately, just as previous technological breakthroughs have been explored in popular art.
In 1967 the poet Richard Brautigan self-published a book of poetry that included a positive vision of AGI. Entitled “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace”, the poem is available here, and reprinted below:
I like to think (and the sooner the better!) of a cybernetic meadow where mammals and computers live together in mutually programming harmony like pure water touching clear sky. I like to think (right now, please!) of a cybernetic forest filled with pines and electronics where deer stroll peacefully past computers as if they were flowers with spinning blossoms. I like to think (it has to be!) of a cybernetic ecology where we are free of our labors and joined back to nature, returned to our mammal brothers and sisters, and all watched over by machines of loving grace.