24 January 2008

You don't have to be Isaac Asimov...

To see the possible adverse consequences here...

A team of U.S. scientists is reporting that it has constructed the genome of a living organism for the first time.

Its proponents envision making micro-organisms that gobble up pollution, produce hard-to-make drugs, pump out clean energy, or, at the whimsical end, flowers designed to bloom on your birthday.
Or a bacteria that eats plastic... or human flesh.

I'm just sayin'... let's be careful out there.



Anonymous said...

As opposed to an artifical intelligence with the consciousness to launch our own nuclear weapons against us?

That's Ray Kurtzweil's pet obsession, albeit less ripped from the canon of "The Terminator" saga. The reality is that genetic engineering is a more achievable realm than artificial intelligence. A genome is readily identifiable; synthetic intelligence is a bit tougher. And the former requires less teraflops to nail down than the latter. Get used to it.

Neo Conservative said...

"anon says... The reality is that genetic engineering is a more achievable realm than artificial intelligence."

i'm thinkin' the salient point here, might be... we're not always as smart as we think.


Reg said...

I'm sure the Wright Brothers never thought their invention would be used to big down a couple skyscrappers some day or carpet bomb London during the blitz. Think Thomas Edison would have been pleased with the phonograph had he been around for that terrible period of popular music of 1983 - 1989 (or boy bands of the late 90's). I've got an idea, let's introduce rabbits to Australia...

Have I made my point, Anon?

Neo Conservative said...

just to clarify... i'm more of a "measure twice, cut once" person, than an actual luddite... but my original title here was gonna be, "from the people who brought you thalidomide".

as possible consequences go... this one's a biggie.