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Part of this issue is its lack of approachability for lay persons, a category which I believe includes the vast majority of elected officials and important decision-makers at regulatory agencies.

I think some kind of "reading list" with both some balanced information on perspectives, but certainly some simple primers that provide a basis for the average, interested member of the public to hold an informed opinion is extremely important.  

The Op-Ed has great value, but this is an exceptionally difficult topic area for most people.  What seems clear, however, is that every individual member of humanity should, when a small group of people is pushing towards outcomes that have even a small chance of creating existential risk for all of humanity, be able to expect that small group to observe a duty of care and to assume a responsibility to both educate and engage before proceeding to a point of no return.  

It seems clear that there is at least consensus on the existence (even if assigned a small probability) of such existential risks (of a non- or mal-aligned super-intelligence that arises in a fast-takeoff scenario).  That alone should clearly be enough to embrace a set of duties owed to mankind as a whole.