Nanotechnology, Genetic Engineering & Robotics – Doomsday or Miracle?
by Tatiana Velitchkov © 2007
Advances in nanotechnology have proven that incredible progress is not only possible today and in the future, it is pretty well inevitable. Fantastic advances in nanotechnologic medical research have resulted in life saving techniques that were unheard of even a decade ago.
Genetic engineering research and development provides a means of revolutionizing agricultural output by enhancing crop yields while encouraging a decrease in the necessity for pesticides. It also holds out a promise of attaining newer, improved species of plants and animals, the ability to someday replace or supplement reproduction with cloning and the hope that cures will be developed for many fatal and debilitating diseases, which can only result in increased life spans and improved quality of life.
Robotic engineers firmly believe that development of a truly intelligent machine that is capable of performing most tasks better than humans will be perfected within our lifetime. They envision a time when a highly organized system of machines will perform all tasks with little or no human input.
It is not hard to imagine the revolutionary advancements that are possible if nanotechnology, genetic engineering and robotics combine their expertise in future technological advancements. Either the result will be a utopian world free of disease or pestilence or a jumbled chaos of grey goo and confusion.
Regardless of the outcome, it is inevitable that the future holds profound changes because of nanotechnology, genetic engineering and robotics, whether the accomplishments are made on their own or as a result of a coordinated effort. Along with the imminent progression, however, we must also be aware of the philosophical, moral and ethical issues that will come about as a result of biological change.
In addition to the potential threat from the unleashed power of nanotechnology based scientific advancements, there is also the promise of an improved future for mankind and the world in which he dwells. The line of demarcation is thin and easily crossed and therefore great care and planning must go hand in hand with technological advances.
Naysayers are quick to point out the many pitfalls of unbridled nanotechnology, genetic engineering and robotics research and implementation; however, to the chagrin of futurists, these non-progressive individuals fail to fully conceive of the many benefits these scientific advancements can and will provide. Progressive thinkers are quick to embrace the very real possibility of incredibly low-cost solar power, cures for debilitating disease via intensification of the human immune system, the ability to clean up our environment and the overall improvement of human existence that is not only possible but entirely plausible in the very near future because of nanotechnology, genetic engineering and robotics.
So, are nanotechnology, genetic engineering and robotics to be feared as an impending doomsday event or should they be embraced as miracles of the future? Only by carefully reviewing the past while embracing the future will we be able to tell. After all, if we are willing to build an artificial brain, we must be willing to construct one that is able to see what we cannot.
© Tatiana Velitchkov
About the Author: