Re: Biowar vs. AI as existential threat

From: Philip Goetz (
Date: Tue Feb 14 2006 - 12:19:20 MST

On 2/14/06, Amara D. Angelica <> wrote:
> What are your thoughts on the possible merger of intelligent
> nanobiocomputational devices based on DNA computing with genetically
> engineered bioweapons?

Both use DNA, but there isn't any functional relationship between them
- it's not as if using DNA from bioweapons in a DNA computer would
produce an especially powerful or evil computer.

It might be possible, if we had DNA computers, for someone to design a
computer virus that would reprogram your desktop computer to build a
DNA sequence and protein sheath that actually was a human virus. A
two-stage virus that replicated electronically, infected
electronically, replicated biologically, and infected biologically.
It might even pop up a window saying "Inspect reagent tank" to
increase your chances of infection.

Some viruses spread by changing their hosts' behavior, making them
feel strong impulses to bite others, for instance. So it should even
be possible to design a human virus that made people feel a sudden
impulse to send everyone they knew email...

- Phil

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