A number of items on the KurzweilAI.net website present comments made by inventor-author Ray Kurzweil during a panel discussion on whether humans are an endangered species held in Washington, D.C. on 19 December 2001. Kurzweil proposed a major new national program to develop defensive strategies, technologies, and ethical standards to address the dangers of emerging genetic, nanotechnology and robotics (GNR) technologies. The panel also included Bill Joy of Sun Microsystems, environmentalist Bill McKibben, and theologian Ann Foerst. Responding to calls for a halt or relinquishment of development of GNR technologies, Kurzweil said, "I believe that implementing such a choice would require a Brave New World type of totalitarian government in which the government uses technology to ban the further development of technology," said Kurzweil. An outright ban "would be destructive, morally indefensible, and in any event would not address the dangers."
Kurzweilís comments were reported in a news item on the KurzweilAI.net website. In addition to a brief news item on the panel, you can read a briefing paper on the issues that have been raised in the debate on how to deal with GNR technologies, as well as a set of questions posed to Kurzweil during panel discussion and his responses.