In 1712, the first commercially successful steam engine was built. This new technology undoubtedly helped humanity in many ways. But it arguably also created a fundamental precondition for the existential risk of climate change. In 1945, the first atomic bomb exploded, exposing the world to the existential risk of nuclear war. Genetically modified bacteria were first created in 1973, largely creating the existential risk of engineered pandemics. What will be invented next?
Will genetic engineering be the last time where a newly invented technology creates an existential risk? The rate of scientific and technological progress does not suggest so. We can expect more and more powerful technologies to be invented, possibly creating their own novel existential risks in the process.