The rise of self-replicating universal nano assemblers had not eradicated scarcity as expected, at least not in the sense many people had believed it would. It merely shifted the manufacturing cost for goods to the consumer and left it to the assemblers to supply the energy and raw materials to transform design specifications from virtual to physical reality. The cost went down, but large parts of the savings were added right back by the brand owners that henceforth concentrated on research and development, design, market research and advertising. One did not buy a Ferrari, one owned a licensed copy, and those still did not come cheap.
We believe that the next step in copying will be made from digital form into physical form. It will be physical objects. Or as we decided to call them: Physibles. Data objects that are able (and feasible) to become physical. We believe that things like three dimensional printers, scanners and such are just the first step. We believe that in the nearby future you will print your spare sparts for your vehicles. You will download your sneakers within 20 years.
I am looking forward to that day and have been since 2005.
Using data supplied by researchers at the Max Planck Institute, University of Illinois postdoctoral researcher Elijah Roberts and chemistry professor Zaida Luthey-Schulten built a computer model of a bacterial cell that accurately simulates the behavior of actual cells.
Amazing! Now – whether you believe Wikipedia or or the Institute for Biomolecular Design, a E-Coli bacterium weights between 10^-12 and 10^-16 grams placing the number of atoms somewhere between half a Billion and 7 Trillion a pop. Taking the conservative approach by assuming half a Billion atoms we arrive at a factor 500 increase over 6 years.
Taking this armchair approach one step further there are about 100 Trillion cells in the human body that each have roughly 10’000 times more atoms than an E-Coli. So, how many years until we can reliably simulate a human being on the cellular level?
It has been a good two years now since I first published Jame5 in form of a dead tree and it was a great ride. Not only have I had the pleasure of founding the Beijing Futurist Society and Acceleration Aware Singapore but I also decided to quit my day job in order to focus on my research and entrepreneurial pursuits full time. And boy, oh boy did this rabbit hole turned out to go deep!
By now I managed to give away almost all of the 500 initial copies that I printed and am ready for a 2nd edition that will hopefully iron out the majority of the remaining spelling mistakes. So I thought it would add a nice touch if I got a few more testimonials and put them into the 2nd edition. So if you want to see your praise or constructive criticizm in print on Amazon do make sure to send me a 3-5 sentence blurp including name, URL, organization, title or whatever else you wish to add by the end of October 2009. I would really appreciate it!
For those of you willing to go beyond the call of duty, feel free to read over the final draft of the 2nd edition of Jame5 and let me know any errors my editor and me may have missed for the second time.
Last but not least: 2 years ago I thought self publishing Jame5 would be a good idea since what else could a big publisher do that I could not? Well – turns out that I do not have a marketing machine and while having ~1000 readers is nice, having 20’000 and someone else pay for distribution would be much nicer. So, since I still do not have a professional publisher, anyone with a good idea or connections on how to get Jame5 published properly, please do get in touch.
If someone considers the development of artificial intelligence impossible or too far into the future to care about, I can only tell him or her, “Embrace the inevitable”. The advances in the field of neuroscience are increasing rapidly. Scientists are thorough. Understanding its benefits and pitfalls is all that is needed.
Hear, hear – my thoughts exactly. There is just one tiny little detail that raised my eyebrows about the project:
Well…, we will not be able to provide full details about the entire project because we are pursuing a business model, so that we can support the project in the future, so there is little chance of a collaboration with a University or other research institution.
Will neurologists scan our brains down to the last synapse and duplicate the wiring in a silicon chip, giving our minds eternal life?
Personally I do not feel that 100% understanding is required actually. We do not fully understand the universe but never the less come up with all kinds of useful gadgets that fulfill their intended functions within the margin of error between the applied theories used in their design and actual reality.
As long as we understand the brain well enough to improve it even just a little we will have a runaway intelligence explosion aka technological singularity.