You must log in or register to comment.

Dr_Singularity OP t1_j0wl3x7 wrote

molecular assembler is near


ihateshadylandlords t1_j0wpbgn wrote

How soon is near for you? Also theoretically if you had one, what would you print with it?


Dr_Singularity OP t1_j0wttt9 wrote

2020's - 70%

2030's - 93%+

This may seem insane to many, but my reasoning for why we can have such advanced tech so quickly is simple. We will be building 10 000's to 100 000's of narrow super AI's. In late 2020's there probably will be such net designed and fine tuned just to control the position of atoms during assembly process(I posted such net here few days ago, but what I mean is net able to control assembly process of something large like car, not just few tens of atoms), other nets to take care of real time quality check during "printing" on this atomic scale, ultra complicated patterns for macro scale things, atom by atom will also be designed and imagined by AI. And all these nets will have trillions to quadrillions(or more) of parameters.

This is assuming super AI won't emerge during the next 7 years.

What I would post scarcity world, obviously our culture will change drastically. People will also change. We adapt and are getting used to new advanced tech very quickly. I don't think I will be into printing stuff I don't really need like cars, tons of gadgets. We could exprience all of this in ultrarealistic VR.

I would probably print stuff that can keep me in shape, great and diverse food, things that will be necessary to keep me in good health(regeneration pills or liquids), basic necessities like some 2030's era toothbrushes, soap (if we will still use them).

Ocasionally some nice things which I can give as a gift to friends and family.

If tech will be so advanced that we will be able to survive even accidents in space, I can print some small spacecraft and travel around our Solar System(if law will allow for such thing).

But more likely I will connect with like minded people via future version of internet and we will "Crowdfund" larger more ambitious projects which will need large, industrial scale printers, not small garage versions for personal use.

So let's say 200 000 people will get together to create a project to for example build some cool, large scale undewater city or large artifical city/hotel in space, or huge telescope. Stuff like that.

Again, for many it may sound like 2100's tech, but ultra advanced narrow AI's will accelerate our progress at least 1000 fold. More likely billion fold or more. New materials, new, powerful compact propulsion systems etc. It can all start and be ready by the end of this decade.


turnip_burrito t1_j0x41df wrote

You're right, I don't believe it and it does sound dubious, insane, and more like 2100s tech, or at least post-2050. Where will all that data needed to train the AI come from? The specialized equipment? This kind of tech doesn't even seem like it is on the horizon. It's technically possible, I guess


TheSecretAgenda t1_j0xxf31 wrote

Next century for a practical application. They may exist this century but, be very slow and limited. I imagine they will require vast amounts of energy. Unless we crack fusion that isn't going to happen.


agonypants t1_j1158n1 wrote

I hope you're right. I definitely think you're right in the sense that AI is going to be required to develop molecular scale machinery. The only way your timeline works though is if companies that develop and control the AI begin training on them as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I don't know for certain whether or not these AI companies share this goal.

One company that does give me some hope in that regard is DeepMind. While I don't think Demis Hassabis would come right out and say it, I think this is probably his goal and that of Page and Brin. The AlphaFold project seems to be a good start toward that goal. If you're able to make predictions about how amino acid chains will self-fold and/or assemble into proteins, you're at least part-way toward making molecular scale machine parts.

IF DeepMind begins work on this right away, we may get the molecular scale assemblers of my dreams in my lifetime. Fingers crossed.


Abysha t1_j0xiiki wrote

Wine and cheese. And a personal trainer to combat the wine and cheese. And a clone of my husband so I can use the carpool lane.


Sashinii t1_j0wnwsz wrote

Nanofactories will enable post-scarcity for everyone.

"But governments and corporations won't let that happen!"

Then I'd just leave the planet in my molecularly manufactured spaceship and go somewhere else with my nanofactory that'll allow me to create everything I want with a few raw materials.


ihateshadylandlords t1_j0wpenx wrote

How would it enable post scarcity? If I’m understanding this theoretical tool, we would still need raw material/precursor material no?


Sashinii t1_j0wpzew wrote

Nuclear fusion will enable unlimited energy, and if technology is advanced enough for a nanofactory, then molecular nanotechnology exists, and that would enable the advent of any tech we could think of. Everyone will have perovskite solar cells. The raw materials could be made with the nanofactory after it gets the raw materials in the first place.


ihateshadylandlords t1_j0wsubw wrote

>The raw materials could be made with the nanofactory after it gets the raw materials in the first place.

But that’s the issue; we still can’t make something out of thin air. That’s why I can’t understand the excitement over nano scale manufacturing


Sashinii t1_j0wthvt wrote

Dirt, water and air are not hard to get for most people, and none of those things will be hard to get for anyone with future technologies.

You don't understand the exitement for molecular nanotechnology? Not only will it end scarcity, it'll also create nanomedicine, which will cure all medical conditions.


ihateshadylandlords t1_j0x5zt3 wrote

What I’m not getting is how we go from dirt to gold. From my understanding, molecular assemblers print products at the nano level. We don’t have anything that can change the molecular structure of dirt to the molecular structure of gold. I’m not trying to be a stick in the mud either. I’m just not seeing any progress on this theoretical matter-transforming device.


TFenrir t1_j0xxcor wrote

I'll give you an example.

Carbon, extremely plentiful, essentially dirt on earth. With carbon you can build everything from cpus to diamonds.


ihateshadylandlords t1_j0ysymk wrote

But we don’t have any technology that’s remotely close to changing the atomic structure of carbon into useful products.


TFenrir t1_j0yygws wrote

Okay well first - that's a hard thing to quantify, who knows how close we are - this thread is about a technique that is about assembling atoms/molecules into useful products.

Second, that's immaterial to the original question you were asking.

> We don’t have anything that can change the molecular structure of dirt to the molecular structure of gold.

I'm highlighting that work like this is aiming to move towards printing atom by atom, which could theoretically create all kinds of molecular structures - eg, graphene from carbon.

I don't know how long it will take, but as you were asking how something like this could be useful, it's pretty straight forward.


ihateshadylandlords t1_j0z1xqp wrote

>Okay well first - that's a hard thing to quantify, who knows how close we are - this thread is about a technique that is about assembling atoms/molecules into useful products.

Right, but it’s using the prerequisite raw materials into useful products and not turning dirt/carbon into useful raw material.

>Second, that's immaterial to the original question you were asking.

If we’re going to have post scarcity, we need the ability to convert useless material into useful raw material. From my understanding, this development doesn’t solve that issue.

>I don't know how long it will take, but as you were asking how something like this could be useful, it's pretty straight forward.

It’s definitely useful as long as we have the prerequisite materials, but it is still dependent on having the scarce useful materials. So what we have so far won’t lead to post scarcity at all, just more efficient products.

Also I’m really not trying to be obtuse or anything. But from what I can tell, this isn’t solving the issue of turning useless materials into useful materials; it’s about precision printing.


TFenrir t1_j0z6mm4 wrote

I think I understand what you're saying a bit more!

There are still lots of things that need to be figured out for what is often referred to as "atomically precise manufacturing". APM, coined by Eric Drexler, is often focused on the part of the process that assembles from already ready material, and the value propositions that come from that - for example, literally no waste in the manufacturing process, and shapes/structures that would not be possible otherwise.

However, it also requires a process that can break down/recycle objects into those base materials. A unique and separate challenge, but one that has direct symbiosis with the end result.

I'd recommend if you are curious, reading some of Eric Drexler's work. He's really level headed about the topic, and is extremely well versed - he has a blog, last I remember, but also has written great books - I think he coins the term "APM" in that book, it's been almost as decade since I've read it though.


agonypants t1_j117bqy wrote

It's a quick answer, but it's well-intentioned: Read your Drexler.


agonypants t1_j1174g4 wrote

>"But governments and corporations won't let that happen!"

That argument cracks me up a little. Once the tools are in the hands of the public, they won't be so easily controlled. History has shown us time and again that when you put technology out into the public, it's quickly re-purposed, modified and jail-broken. The potential for molecular scale factories is just too great. Billions of people will want to see that technology freed up for the good of humanity.

On one hand it represents a huge, existential threat to the survival of the Earth and everything on it. On the other hand, it represents the greatest technological advance in human history with the potential to free humanity once and for all from poverty, starvation, misery and even mortality. This tech will absolutely not be controlled by any one company or entity. People will want it for themselves and at the lowest possible price - ideally, free.


Akimbo333 t1_j0x8cht wrote

Honestly, if this becomes possible by 2030, I'd print a sexbot. Like it'd be easy to print The sexbots: Skeleton, Muscles, eyes, teeth, hair, and skin. Hell maybe even it's battery pack.

Hopefully, one day, lol!!!

Now we'd need nuclear fusion for unlimited energy to help with the atom printing.


Shelfrock77 t1_j0z19vj wrote

You could also print yourself a new body unit to put your consciousness in or to have as a backup lol.


Midori_Schaaf t1_j133zt3 wrote

The key is to use it simultaneously and get used to it as an extension of your consciousness.

As for what I would print, monopolar high temperature superconductor electromagnet array. For a fist sized fusion reactor. Might as well go all out.


Wroisu t1_j151tw0 wrote

Exactly, having multiple, seemingly real flesh and blood bodies - that are essentially nothing but your avatars would be cool.

Technological omnipresence


purple_hamster66 t1_j0xh4tl wrote

Lovely idea, but we can't even 3D print plastic reliably and that's 20 years old. I don't see how this can scale atomic printing until they can utilize 1000s of parallel print heads, none of which make a mistake that would short out the circuit.

Printing a lithium battery is also a nice idea, but is much easier to accomplish by layer-based lithographic-style methods -- the ultimate in parallel "printing" -- currently used in chip fabrication factories for 3D chips.


Akimbo333 t1_j0xoj7q wrote

Haven't we gotten better at 3d printing?


purple_hamster66 t1_j0zoiw5 wrote

Yes, better, but they still mess up, producing what’s called a spaghetti print.