Cryptic huh? It does not matter if the title is comprehensible to you or not, you cannot escape the reality. And the reality is that the bridge between living and non-living is blurring with the coming age of nanobiotechnology. You might say “I have heard of Biotechnology and I have heard of Nanotechnology, but what the hell is Nanobiotechnology?”. Well, if it is the case, read the excellent article titled I, Nanobot.
The article is extremely thought-provoking and presents a radical different view of the coming reality. We do not face horrors from Extra-Terristial beings attacking earth or AI becoming self-aware and enslaving humans, however we face threats from entities which the author of the articles calls animats. Animats are non-living living materials. It means soon life can get free from chains of carbon and be based on non-carbon compounds.
Nanobiotechnology is increasingly making hybrids between biological entities and non-biological nano-sized machines. Author proposes that one day, due to random mutations, these hybrids can evolve to perform functions which they are not supposed to. His animats are “replicating nanobiobot capable of living inside the human body powered by our own metabolic energy”. If these come into existance then life as we know it will change. This is because our 100% knowledge of life is based on carbon-based life and then we would be dealing with life based on elements other than carbon.
The author give three rules for nanobiotechnology:
First Law of Nanobotics: The fusion of nanotechnology and biotechnology, now called nanobiotechnology, will result in the complete elimination of the barrier between living and nonliving materials.
The Second Law of Nanobotics: It is not possible to ensure that devices created using the techniques of nanobiotechnology will only transmit molecular information to the target system.[/I]
Third Law of Nanobotics: The carbon barrier will be eliminated when humans create the first synthetic molecular device capable of changing the state of a living system via direct, intentional transfer of specific chemical information from one to the other.
The article is a must read for anyone who cares about his future because [I]they (nanobots) are coming soon…. what else, we might even not recognize them coming..
Click here to read the article.
P.S: One interesting line which caught my eye, “Nanofabricated animats may be infinitesimally tiny, but their electrons will be exactly the same size as ours.”