A thoughtful examination of the promises and problems of
Nanotechnology, the science of building things atom-by-atom.
Based on naturally occurring processes, nanotech applications will employ microscopic robots with on-board molecular computers programmed to do two things - 1) replicating, and 2) performing simple tasks, such as binding two molecules together.
A group of billions of programmed microbots could be
used to swim through the human body and repair cellular damage, produce food from garbage and sunlight, devour toxic waste and air pollution, or supply an infinite abundance of any conceivable material or object.
Nanotech's dark side: deadly plagues, lobotomizing robots
(lobots?) that will attack anyone without a nanotech- designed vaccine, or a little blob of "gray goo" that turns everything it touches into "gray goo" until it consumes everything in the universe.
Drexler examines both sides and urges us to start planning for the inevitable approach of the ultimate technology.
Engines of Creation
K. Eric Drexler
Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1986
Here is the TEXT POPUP for Engines of Creation:
What will happen to the global order when assemblers and
automated engineering eliminate the need for most international trade? How will society change when individuals can extend life indefinitely? What will we do
when replicating assemblers can make almost anything without human labor? What will we do when AI systems can think faster than humans?