Thursday, November 10, 2005

Toronto Star: "The Future is Nanobots" - Tech talk: "Why can't an iPod be as big as a watch? Or better yet, injected into your body?"

According to Ray Kurzweil, molecular fabricators — devices sort of like those imagined by Neal Stephenson in The Diamond Age, which can produce a non-organic object out of molecules — will be available by the 2020s.

He says they'll be comparable to the inexpensive music and film-making software that's replaced the need for multi-million dollar studios.

"The means of creativity have already been democratized," he says, speaking of our storytelling technologies. In the future, he predicts, our technologies for manufacturing will be similarly democratized: "inexpensive table top nanotechnology based molecular fabricators" will allow us make almost any product we want in our own homes.

Steve Mann is quoted here too, though it's unclear whether he's making a general comment or a comment on technology, or on Kurzweil's predictions: too much "clutter" associated with existing and future technology — for example spam and marketing text messages — will cause people to pull back. He suggests instead there will be an "un-digital" age of technology.


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