(2013) describes speeding up development as one of three main types of benefits from attempts to improve the world, with the other two being "trajectory changes" (including existential risk reduction) and "proximate benefits" (meaning "the fairly short-run, fairly predictable benefits that we ordinarily think about when we cure some child's blindness, save a life, or help an old lady cross the street").
Some people have argued that speeding up development is in itself the best way to improve the long-term future. One argument that could be made for this position is that every delay to development causes astronomical waste. However, others have argued that we should instead focus on trajectory changes because roughly "where we end up" matters more than "how fast we get there"
(Todd, 2017; see also Bostrom, 2003). Beckstead, Nick (2013) A proposed adjustment to the astronomical waste argument , Effective Altruism Forum , May 27. Bostrom, Nick (2003) Astronomical waste: the opportunity cost of delayed technological development , Utilitas , vol. 15, pp. 308–314. Todd, Benjamin (2017) The case for reducing existential risks , 80,000 Hours , October.