This post by Roland Piquepaille examines two articles by two of the best-known future-thinkers around, Ray Kurzweil and Bill Joy. Both are articulate, accomplished, and alarmed -- they have seen the future (and are in the process of creating it) and they are a bit white-knuckled themselves.
Most important, we need to understand that these technologies are advancing on hundreds of fronts, rendering relinquishment completely ineffectual as a strategy. As uncomfortable as it may be, we have no choice but to prepare the defenses.
If I were to propose one thing that we as the human race need to do, I'd say we can't let the future just happen anymore. If too many of the possible futures are catastrophes, we have to try to steer down the less dangerous paths. That implies that you somehow have to manage markets, geopolitics, and human behavior in the way we have become able to manage the scientific process. Those are inconceivable things.
So what does it mean to apply design to the choice of our future? I don't have a good answer for that. It's an existential question: If we don't choose, the choice will be made for us in a way we won't likely want.