Photo by Pavel Danilyuk
David W. Stewart’s Angel of Mortality: Defender of Life is a sci-fi novel that imagines what it would be like when we push forward in evolution and take the next big step.
Ever since Thomas Savery sold the first commercially available steam engine, humanity has been on an accelerating track when it comes to technology. Each year that passes, new inventions, insights, and innovations come to the fore to push us further in our collective evolution and the next big step of our civilization.
The Next Big Step
The three most exciting and rapidly developing fields in technology today are artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and nanotechnology. Just one of them alone is enough to revolutionize society in ways we could never dream of, but the fact that all three of them are on the verge of a profound paradigm shift is so exciting. The possibilities are virtually limitless and extremely fascinating.
But first, what are these three?
- Artificial intelligence is the new trend that is slowly enveloping the field of computer science (if it hasn’t already) that looks to, as one of its goals, create an intelligent agent solely from “scratch,” as in made from human hands. While systems that can actively reason, learn, and act on their own are still a long, long way away, there are already serious and compelling advances in self-driving capabilities and medical diagnoses. They’re all incremental, yes, but who’s never tripped a little before they learned how to run?
- Robotics has also been making large and meaningful strides in recent years. Now, more than ever, robots are slowly becoming commonplace in factories, security, logistics, etc. With the refinement of more and more machines capable of replacing us in manufacturing, healthcare, etc., a future where humanity can focus on other pursuits is growing ever so closer.
- Nanotechnology, while not as spectacular as the other two, has also made important improvements and advancements, and while there’s no timetable for practical and popular use yet, a few projects are already making significant headway into medicine synthesis, energy production, and the materials sciences.
A Step Forward
When the time comes that AI, robotics, and nanotechnology are fully integrated and interdependent on one another, that is the time when a powerful new paradigm for technological innovation rears its head and leads us all to a better horizon.
To give you a better idea of the exciting possibilities that emerge when AI, robotics, and nanotechnology are combined, here are some developments we can look forward to:
- Medical Technology: Nanotechnology could create materials that can repair themselves when damaged, leading to the development of longer-lasting and more durable products and new medical treatments that can help the human body heal itself. Nanobots could also be injected directly into the body to diagnose and treat diseases at the cellular level. These nanobots could be equipped with tiny cameras, sensors, drugs, and other therapeutic agents.
- Space Exploration: AI-powered robots could be used to explore remote and dangerous planets and moons. These robots could be equipped with various sensors and tools and use AI to make decisions and solve problems autonomously.
- Manufacturing: AI-powered robots could be used to create new manufacturing processes that are more efficient and precise than anything today. These robots could also be used to develop new products that are impossible to make with traditional manufacturing methods.
- Energy Storage and Generation Devices: Nanotechnology could create new energy storage and generation devices that are more efficient and environmentally friendly than current technologies. For example, nano-technological solar cells that are much more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity could be developed.
On the Risks
Of course, there are some potential risks associated with developing these technologies. Most notable is the concern that AI-powered robots could become so intelligent that they threaten humanity. There is also the possibility that the mishandling of nanotechnology could lead to the creation of new weapons and other dangerous devices.
However, it’s essential to remember that these technologies are still in their early stages of development. With careful planning and responsible deployment, it’s perfectly possible to mitigate the worst excesses that these powerful new technologies can bring to the table.
Here are some specific steps that you can consider:
- Invest in research on the ethical and social implications of these technologies to help us identify potential risks and develop strategies to counter them.
- Develop international regulations for the development and use of these technologies to ensure that these technologies are used responsibly and ethically.
- Promote public education and understanding of these technologies to help reduce public fear and anxiety about these technologies. This also helps ensure that the public is involved in the decision-making process about how these technologies are used.