“We will have the power of the gods.” Dr. Michio Kaku

I have been thinking

Future of science: ‘We will have the power of the gods’

Telegraph.co.uk 23/10/2007

” … According to the theoretical physicist Professor Michio Kaku of the City College of New York, we are entering an empowered new era: “‘We have unlocked the secrets of matter.

We have unravelled the molecule of life, DNA. And we have created a form of artificial intelligence, the computer. We are making the historic transition from the age of scientific discovery to the age of scientific mastery in which we will be able to manipulate and mould nature almost to our wishes.’

* * *

“We will have the power to animate the inanimate, the power to create life itself,” says Prof Kaku. “We will have the power of gods. But will we also have the wisdom of Solomon?”

In a new BBC4 series called Visions of the Future, Prof Kaku talks to today’s pioneers about how we are moving from being passive observers of nature to its choreographers. Here are their remarkable speculations about how the scientific and technological revolution will transform life and society in the 21st century.

* * *

Nanobot armies : Dr John Alexander, US Joint Special Operations University: ‘On the battlefield, nanobots are going to do a lot of things; they can seek and destroy specific targets, for instance. You’ve heard about the ‘surgeons’ that you can inject into your bloodstream – well, they can go in there to repair a clogged blood vessel, or they might be able to go in and punch holes in the blood vessels to destroy an adversary. The embryonic stages are here today, and a lot of work is being done.’

* * *

A disease-free world: Ray Kurzweil, inventor and futurist: ‘We will have the means, within 10 or 15 years, to reprogram biology away from cancer, away from heart disease, to really overcome the major diseases that kill us. We’re in the early stages of that now, but our ability to do this is growing exponentially – it’s doubling every year.’

* * *

An end to ageing : Prof Leonard Hayflick, University of California, San Francisco : ‘Our conscious recognition of the finitude of our lives is key to how we live. Virtually every aspect of our lives is governed by our sense of self and our sense of when we will age, and, of course, when we will die. One really has to think seriously about tampering with the ageing process and what its implications might be.’

* * *

Artificial intelligence: Eliezer Yudkowsky, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, California: ‘We have a choice in how we create artificial intelligence. And you’ve got to be very sure that a created mind is never going to want to self-improve and that it’s never going to want to do anything that destroys intelligent life. You’ve got to treat that gun as if it’s loaded.’ …”

(full article)

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

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Newcomb’s Commentary: “Again and again someone in the crowd wakes up, he has no ground in the crowd, and he emerges according to much broader laws. He carries strange customs with him and demands room for bold gestures. The future speaks ruthlessly through him.” Rainer Maria Rilke

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