Posted: May 6, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Eric Drexler, author of Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology, is often credited with first popularizing the concept of nanotechnology. He is also the inventor of the hypothetical end-of-the-world scenario, grey goo that involves molecular nanotechnology leading to out-of-control self-replicating robots consume all matter on Earth while building more of themselves. This scenario is also known as ecophagy (“eating the environment”). Self-replicating machines of the macroscopic variety were originally described by mathematician John von Neumann, and are sometimes referred to as von Neumann machines. The term grey goo was coined by Drexler in his 1986 book Engines of Creation, stating that “we cannot afford certain types of accidents.” In 2004 he stated “I wish I had never used the term ‘grey goo’.” In the Lloyd’s library in London recently, Drexler addressed business risks and opportunities of nanotechnology. Sponsored by both the UK Knowledge Transfer Networks of Finance and Nanotechnology, Drexler focuses initially on a broad overview of nanotechnology, then examines current and emerging risks. (via 33rd Square)

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