Further Steps Toward an AGI Roadmap


At the AGI-09 post-conference workshop‘s Roadmap Panel,  Itamar Arel of the University of Tennessee announced the founding of a wiki at agi-roadmap.org that will serve as a supplement to the creation of an AGI Roadmap.  Taking as examples several previous, related technology projects, J. Storrs Hall made mention of work conducted by the Foresight Institute on the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems and Ben Goertzel discussed his participation in the writing of the Metaverse Roadmap.

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Nanotechnologies: Long Term Potentials, Unprecedented Challenges for Governance


Christine Peterson is the founder and vice president of public policy for the Foresight Institute  and co-chair of the Convergence 08 Unconference.   For the February 13, 2008 lecture for the Stanford Law, Science and Technology Colloquium at Stanford University, she presented on the long-term potentials and unprecedented challenges inherent in nanotechnology.

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Nanotechnology’s Global Risk and Promises of Resilience


Within the next few decades, and perhaps sooner, a new type of manufacturing will be made possible by molecular nanotechnology (MNT). Considering its enormous potential for profound social, environmental, economic, and military impacts, MNT has received insufficient attention in ethical and policy discussions. Mike Treder, co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, presented on the global risks posed by molecular nanotechnology and the potential for resilience at the November Global Catastrophic Risks conference .

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Nanotechnology: the Next Industrial Revolution Ramps Up


The Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems charts a path beginning with current nanotechnology capabilities to advanced molecularly-precise systems. Christine Peterson, co-founder of the Foresight Nanotech Institute, spoke on the organization’s attempts to lay out a step-by-step course of development for molecular nanotechnology at a Stanford graduate class in technology forecasting in January. After outlining near and mid-term projections for nanoscale technologies, she introduced the future objective of establishing open source physical security, a means to broadly protect both privacy and safety in a society empowered with sophisticated surveillance technologies.

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Distributed Surveillance with MEMS or Nano-scale Sensors


Tad Hogg is a researcher in the Social Computing Laboratory of Hewlett-Packard, focused on harvesting the collective intelligence of groups of people to optimize the interaction between users and information.  At the 2008 Global Catastrophic Risks conference in Mountain View, he presented on the prospects of distributed surveillance with MEMS & nano-scale sensors.

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Foresight and Opportunity


The 2007 Foresight Vision Weekend offered fifteen intense hours of mind-blowing creativity.  From the biggest picture of tomorrow’s web, to the tiniest picture of nanotechnology, the emphasis was on how to steer rapid change for the benefit of civilization, instead of being run over by it. Brad Templeton introduced the second day of the unconference organized by the Foresight Nanotechnology Institute, touching on the tremendous opportunities attending living in the midst of a historical revolution in converging technologies.

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The Weather Machine


J. Storrs Hall is the author of Nanofuture: What’s Next for Nanotechnology, a book covering the physical principles of engineering at the atomic scale, possible applications of nanomachines, and their potential alteration of human society. More recently he published Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine, a review of the history of AI, discussing some of the major roadblocks that the field has recently overcome, and predicting the probable achievements in the near future. At October’s Global Catastrophic Risks conference in Mountain View he gave a presentation entitled “The Weather Machine” on the potential for nano-enabled “Climate Control for the Earth”

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The Future of Technology


We usually think about growth in linear and exponential models… but the biggest impacts come from discontinuous change, and history is a chain of discontinuities. At the Artificial Intelligence and Society event hosted by the University of Santa Clara and Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Melanie Swan presented on potentially disruptive technologies for the 21st century: synthetic biology, metaverse technologies, robotics, fabbing, quantum computing, intelligence augmentation, personalized medicine, artificial intelligence, molecular nanotechnology, affordable space launch and anti-aging therapies. A multidisciplinary introduction to thinking critically about the ramifications of accelerating technological change, the presentation is one of several open source projects available on her personal website.

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Building a Nanofactory


Tihamer Toth-Fejel is a senior research engineer at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems. He is a member of the advisory board of the Nanoethics Group and chair of the Society for Manufacturing Engineers Nanomanufacturing Technical Group. At various times in the past he has been a fellow for the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts and on the scientific advisory board of Nanorex Inc. At the At the CRN conference on the Future of Nano and Bio he went through various nanotechnology applications that could potentially be used together to build a nanofactory for molecular manufacturing.

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On Mechanosynthesis




Ralph Merkle is a pioneer in public key cryptography and an expert on the emerging technological applications of molecular nanotechnology and cryonics. He is a key member of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, part of the Nanofactory Collaboration. In the popular science fiction novel The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, Dr. Merkle is portrayed as one of the heroes of a future civilization where nanotechnology is ubiquitous. At the CRN conference on the Future of Nano and Bio he spoke on the subject of “A Minimal Toolset for Diamond Mechanosynthesis,” a paper with Robert Freitas on molecular nanotechnology scheduled to be published in JCTN (Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience).

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Future Imperfect


In the not too distant future you may be able to buy an inexpensive video camera with the size and aerodynamic characteristics of a mosquito. Even earlier, we will see the proliferation of cameras on lamp posts designed to deter crime. Ultimately, this could lead to a society where nothing is private. At the 2007 Foresight Vision Weekend, Professor David D. Friedman gave an overview of three destabilizing technologies that could usher in a world of ubiquitous surveillance in a preview of his upcoming book Future Imperfect.

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Diamond Mechanosynthesis



At the 2007 Foresight Vision Weekend, Ralph Merkle and Robert Freitas in a joint session discussed research toward diamond mechanosynthesis. The two co-founders of the Nanofactory Collaboration offered a preview their recently accepted paper “A minimal toolset for diamond mechanosynthesis” to be published in JCTN (Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience). The talk included a description of nine molecular tools and all reaction pathways involved in their synthesis from raw materials. This took the co-authors three years to finish, and they view it as the critical next step in developing molecular nanotechnology for atomically-precise manufacturing.

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