Re: EngYog-Sothoth for Fun nanotech

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Thu Jul 26 2001 - 01:44:05 MDT wrote:
> These new organisms will be dependent totally on the supply of the
> synthetic
> amino acid to produce its proteins. I think this has been proposed
> before
> as a control mechanism for nanotech, Drexler most likley.

Someone - I'm not sure if it was Drexler - once said that positing
nanotech that can go wild is like positing a car that learns to live off
tree sap. My own reaction was "If you built a self-reproducing car,
*then* I would start worrying about its descendants learning to live off
tree sap."

The suggestion is excellent and I'm slapping myself on the forehead for
not thinking of it right away. This is a standard safety technique that
Foresight has been trying to drill into us for years. But I'd still be
worried about the new organisms learning how to produce the synthetic
amino acid on their own using chemical processes. Even if the original
amino acid included a rare atomic type as an integral part of the
chemistry, I'd still be worried about the organism learning to build a

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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