RE: Submolecular nanotech [WAS: Goals]

O'Regan, Emlyn (
Mon, 24 May 1999 15:27:47 +1000

>From: Anders Sandberg[]
>Reply To:
>Sent: Monday, 24 May 1999 5:30
>Subject: Re: Submolecular nanotech [WAS: Goals]
>"Raymond G. Van De Walker" <> writes:
>> The big advantage of ufog is that it provides many of the advantages of
>> nanotech while exposing one to fewer hazards than a solution in which
>> general-purpose assemblers are ubiquitous.
>It is often easier to rely on finished products than having the
>production system itself (only DIY people, survivalists and
>programmers disagree :-).

Doesn't that cover just about every member of this list?
>> However, it also looks like ufog is pretty hazardous by itself. Think of
>> the lung disease that could be caused by misprogrammed ufog.
>The problem seems to be that it is impossible to test very complex
>systems for all possible contingencies, and this will likely cause
>trouble when designing ufog. How do you convince the customers it is
>perfectly safe?
I don't think its going to be all that difficult to convince customers that these things are safe particularly - ufog sounds like the consumer's dream, and its incredible appeal as the ultimate in consumer durables must outstrip fear of its danger (even if that fear is well founded). Is ufog more dangerous than a car? Than having guns around the house? Than having cleaning products in your laundry?

>You get the same problem with AI: what testing would be required
>before an AI program was allowed to completely run a nuclear power
>plant? Most likely a lot, and even then I guess insurance premiums
>would go up and if somethind did go wrong people would be sued to
>hell. But having humans is allright, as long as they have had a
>certain education and passed certain less stringent tests.

What's the benefit of running a nuclear power plant with an AI. Cheaper power? If it is, it'll turn up somewhere with low restrictions (eastern europe?) and either work well for a long enough time to convince the world of its safety, or some power stations will blow up and the whole thing will take a bit longer. It'll get there eventually though. The space shuttle is flying again, after all.

Meanwhile, Homer keeps his job.

Not tested on animals