Re: An essay I just wrote on the Singularity.

From: Robin Lee Powell (
Date: Thu Jan 01 2004 - 13:41:33 MST

On Thu, Jan 01, 2004 at 07:00:50PM +0100, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 31, 2003 at 04:43:09PM -0500, Ben Goertzel wrote:
> > IMO, how easy it is to accidentally create gray goo, is
> > something we're not going to really know until we have strong
> > nanotech in our hands...
> It is arbitrarily difficult to create free-environment-capable
> molecular self-replicators *accidentally*. It is hard, albeit
> doable to do it deliberately, once you assume mature nano
> capabilities. Which, of course, are beyond hard themselves.

By 'accidentally' I mean:

    "Oh, we've created these lovely nanorobots that will stay in
    your blood stream and eat cholesterol and occasionally replicate
    to keep their numbers up."

    "Ummm, boss, there's an off-by-one error in the replication
    code. They're never going to stop replicating, and we just
    released the first batch into a live human who left the building
    about twenty minutes ago."

Remember, the Internet Worm of 1988 was an accident (an error in the
code that recognized that the current machine had already been
infected). That doesn't mean it didn't make skill to create. The
two are orthogonal issues.


Me:  ***   I'm a *male* Robin.
"Constant neocortex override is the only thing that stops us all
from running out and eating all the cookies."  -- Eliezer Yudkowsky             ***              .i cimo'o prali .ui

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