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January 16, 2010

Roadmaps to Nanotech and AGI

J Storrs Hall discusses roadmaps to nanotech and AGI.

Conical example of worldchanging tech that was poo-pood prior to success is airplanes. But is necessary to understand why airplanes succeeded in detail.

We observer heavier than air birds
Study them and understand


Similarly for nanotech we have the molecular mechanisms in the cell that make life itself work. It uses positionally controlled chemistry and diiffusive transport

Similarly for AGI we have brains.


Phases -Industrial Revolution

inspiration horses
theoretical underpinnings discovery of atmosphere
experimentation -newcomen, valve control, coal mine pumps
technical take off point- Watt, machine tools, high pressure
economic take off point -railroads, steamships, steam shovels, tractors, looms, factories. (had to go to high pressure steam engines to allow engines small enough and powerful enough.)




Air transportation

Inspiration birds
Theoretical underpinnings - aerodynamic of lift
Experimentation - Lilienthal, gliders, wind tunnel
Technical take off point - wright brothers, wing-warping (built non-crashing flying machine)
Economic takeoff point - airmail, WW1 fighters, passenger service

Nanotechnology

Inspiration - Life
Theoretical Underpinnings - molecular biology, chemistry, mechanical engineer
Experimentation - nanodevices, poistional chemistry, atomically precise fabrication (we are here)
Technical takeoff point - molecular machine tools
Economic take off point - nanofactories, molecular-level recycling, cheap devices

General AI

Inspration Brains
Theoretical Underpinnings -computation, control theory, neuro & psych
Experimentation - computers, software, networks, complex systems
Technical takeoff point - self improving software
Economic take off point - robust, trainable AI, useful robots, robo-cars, natural language interfaces

Technical Takeoff
-Embodies the essential function of the proposed technology
-is proof that the concept works
- focuses technical effort
-is a vehicle for practical experience
- attracts financial (etc) resources
-forms a crack in the dam

Getting to Technical Takeoff

Precise pathway does not matter so much
-many approaches should be tried
-everything afterward will be done differently anyway
-the key is to understand the properties of the takeoff point
-for many technologies, autogeny is the key (for nanotech)

Computers
Inspiration - manual calculation
Theoretical Underpinnings - Jacquard, Hollerith, Turing
Experimentation - Data Processing, Norden Bombsight, Eniac
Technical takeoff point - Von Neumann arch, data=program
Economic take off point -

Nanotech Topo Map

Technology ==> shape/ moving parts / powered / productive / general

Macro hammer / wagon / car / factory / Fab Lab


Micro MEMS /


Nano nanotubes, DNA origami, catalysts / Goals


AGI Topo Map

Extendability==> Add code /Train / Teach / Imitates /Invent from scratch

Skill
Level SOTA Deep Blue
(State of the Art Line)

Eliza

Shrdlu

Hilton |=================|
Take
Obama off | Human |
level
K & R | Range |

Turing | |

Newton |=================| Weakly
God-like AI


AI/Nanotech Synergies

Nano helps with the computers for AI prior to tech takeoff
Main interaction happens after technical takeoff

AI design nano
nano sensors to feed AI
AI controls nano
Nano effectors for AI




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