from the The-future-as-minefield dept.
A rather morbid but informative article about the potential dangers of advanced nanotechnology and the abuse of information technology appeared in the Montreal Gazette ("Cyber-doomsayers offer chilling vision", by Alex Roslin, 14 October 2001). The article leads off with a fictional "grey-goo" meltdown, then recaps the arguments made by Bill Joy over the past year and a half. The article then more usefully focuses on current interest in military applications of micro- and nano-technologies, as well as information systems. The article quotes retired U.S. Army colonel Thomas Adams, who has criticized the U.S. military for its failure to envision the potential consequences of technologies it is helping to develop:
"We are rapidly approaching an event horizon in human development, a point at which the mutually reinforcing trends described here will combine to produce an aggregate result so different from what we now know that it is impossible to guess what it will be."