Hardware fab latency/protein processors

Doug Jones (random@qnet.com)
Wed, 16 Jun 1999 20:32:48 -0700

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> Do you know that there's an STM connected to the Internet? I
> don't know about protein-synthesis machines being connected to
> the Internet - but if you're willing to go through snail-mail,
> you can write a DNA sequence, email it to someone who mails you
> the DNA, then send the DNA to a protein synthesizer in, what,
> about a week? Probably less if you're an AI and you're willing
> to pay for FedEx overnight.
> Ever wonder if there's a back door into Zyvex's laboratory equipment
> somewhere, with a password only an AI could crack? That's what
> *I'd* do.

That's certainly interesting, but last I checked, nobody was even remotely close to building a microprocessor out of DNA and/or proteins.
Provided one had some sort of marginally functional design for a RISC made of protein, it would of course be possible to put it through some heavy evolution to improve the design. This would however turn system architecture from an engineering discipline into a science- once evolving a processor that can run a benchmark program very well, the researchers would have to figure out what this beast *was*... and given algernon's law, the evolved protein processor would do the benchmark well, but anything else suboptimally!

In the absence of a quick-turn hardware capability, my point stands: a singularity driven by an expanding AI seed would be bottlenecked by hardware.

Doug Jones, Rocket Plumber
Rotary Rocket Company