Sometimes I just get this depressing feeling that some research team somewhere is going to finally do us all in. A while back, it was theorized that the Large Hadron Collider could possibly be capable of creating mini black holes. Seriously, one day they are going to do something crazy at the LHC and Bill Murray is going to keep waking up in a little town in Pennsylvania on the same day until Andy MacDowell finally falls in love with him. I’m exaggerating (only) slightly.
So anyhow, another harbinger of doom is the recent progress in wet artificial life. I tend to think of artificial life as being computational in origin, since I’m constantly exposed to AI at school. WAL, as the name suggests, is not computational, but biological. It seems to me that once people are able to create life from scratch and begin to actually get a grasp on how it works, we’re in for trouble. Here is a nice little encouraging quote from Mark Bedau, COO of ProtoLife in Venice.
“It’s going to be a big deal and everybody’s going to know about it. We’re talking about a technology that could change our world in pretty fundamental ways — in fact, in ways that are impossible to predict.”