Re: No nanotech before AI

Date: Thu Jul 13 2000 - 12:56:29 MDT

Robin writes:
> It seems far from clear to me that it is trivial to take a design for a bridge,
> throw some nanodust at it and say "Build it for me over there." Assembly
> and construction use intelligence, just as design does.

I've never constructed anything more complex than a dog house, but it
is true that most construction projects are challenging, even with a
design that looks good on paper.

However I think the reasons are mostly due to imperfections in the
environment where the constructed object has to fit in, imperfections
in the building materials, and imperfections in my construction technique.

With nanotech we might be able to eliminate the last two sources of error.
If all parts are perfect and all assembly steps are done with atomic scale
precision, there should be no need for intelligence. Parts are attached
or detached by rote, with a check to see if it went right, and (perhaps)
discarded if there was a flaw. This would not take much intelligence.

With the bridge example, you'd still have the challenge of fitting a
constructed object into a natural environment. When you build a house
you first pour a foundation, so that from that point on you have a stable
and smooth surface to build on. Something similar might suffice for
many sorts of nanotech construction efforts.


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