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Big Nano Thinking
Nanotechnology spurs debate, passionate and otherwise. On one end of the spectrum is the Nanoethics Group which describes itself as a research and education organization, “not an advocacy, activist or watchdog group.” The NGO, which received $250,000 from the National Science Foundation, explains they have no stake in nanotechnology and “are accountable only to reason.” Armed with this Kant do attitude, the group’s professional ethicists seek “to share insights into the discipline we know best.”

On the more ardent side is inventor and visionary Ray Kurzweil whose new article “Bring on the nanobots, and we will live long and prosper” takes a near-ecstatic view of nanotech’s potential, predicting that “we will be adding more than a year every year to our remaining life expectancy only 15 years from now.” Kurweil expects not just a longer life but a better one given “the expansion of our thinking ability that will result from merging with the intelligent technology we are creating.”

Kurweil’s website KurzweilAI.Net “features the big thoughts of today's big thinkers examining the confluence of accelerating revolutions....” Issues discussed on site, sure to give anti-technology NGOs nightmares, include “the idea that accelerating technology will lead to superhuman machine intelligence,” how to build a brain, and whether future technologies will wipe out humanity.

There is role for many different disciplines in developing our nanotech future including technologists, entrepreneurs, ethicists and regulatory specialists. It is the visionary thinkers, however, who make it fun.

See Nanoethics Group

See Kurzweil article

See KurzweilAI.Net

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