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A new step toward synthetic life
Posted: 02 July 2007 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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David B. - 29 June 2007 05:07 PM
buba - 29 June 2007 04:41 PM

sort of the same questions evoked by the Singularity

If this is the LHC issue, I think the scientists were on slightly firmer ground. Nothing CERN is going to produce has not occurred in nature from the impact of cosmic rays on the Earth billions of times in the past. A particle a million times as energetic (>10²° eV) hits us about once in a hundred years.

Last I looked, we’re still here. * checks again * Whew!

i was not thinking of CERN so much as AI:

Some speculate superhuman intelligences may have goals inconsistent with human survival and prosperity. AI researcher Hugo de Garis suggests AIs may simply eliminate the human race, and humans would be powerless to stop them. Other oft-cited dangers include those commonly associated with molecular nanotechnology and genetic engineering. These threats are major issues for both singularity advocates and critics, and were the subject of a Wired magazine article by Bill Joy, Why the future doesn

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Posted: 02 July 2007 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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David B. - 29 June 2007 02:31 PM

It’s a very small step, mind you.

They’ve taken the chromosome from one species of goat microbe, one noted for its small genome and absence of fiddly cell walls, and put it in a very closely related species of goat microbe, with these same advantages.

In the steps to synthetic life stakes, this is more like tying your shoelaces in a fancy double-bow prior to taking that first step. It looks impressive, but it’s more about getting the technique right than making progress.

I agree.  This certainly isn’t “synthetic life” and it is certainly not a case of “designing life from scratch”.  Still, a successful genome transplant is pretty big.

I think the story that came out of this same lab some years back was a bigger one:  http://cmbi.bjmu.edu.cn/news/0311/90.htm

This is when they built a copy of the polio virus from scratch (i.e. from information only rather than from things in petri dishes).  This is definitely making a virus “from scratch”, but it too is not “designing” anything (the genome information was sequenced from real viruses), and you also have the strange gray area that a virus occupies vis a vis the definition of “life”.

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Posted: 03 July 2007 06:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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buba - 02 July 2007 09:24 PM

In 2004, the Singularity Institute launched an Internet campaign called 3 Laws Unsafe to raise awareness of AI safety issues and the inadequacy of Asimov

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Posted: 03 July 2007 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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David B. - 03 July 2007 10:08 AM

And why are the Singularity Institute wasting time on this when they should be campaigning to outlaw the building of Deathstars? Isn’t something able to destroy a whole planet at million mile ranges more dangerous than a few robots?

i cant wait to hear the debates about the moral and ethical implications of building Deathstars. “could we maybe say ‘lifestar’? its just death makes it sound so negative.”

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Posted: 03 July 2007 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Plus, of course, they’d have to rename the sides of the ‘force’ as the teal-side and the lavender-side, so as not to be overly judgemental.

“Come to the lavender side, Luke!”

It has a certain ring to it.

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Posted: 03 July 2007 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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I cast aside the term ‘Death Star’ for my fully-operative space station as it has all sorts of negative connotations in the popular consiousness. My researchers also showed that ‘Pain Planet’ and ‘Agony Comet’ had similar negative effects.


My ‘Super Happy Funlove Lucky Moon’ will have the ribbon cutting ceremony in a fortnight. Followed by the destruction of a random planet to showcase it’s capabilites. Try as you might, it’s hard to hate anything called a Super Happy Funlove Lucky Moon.

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Posted: 03 July 2007 11:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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You’re not still destroying planets are you? How ‘Ming’ of you!

Nowadays all the hip supervillains turn planets into ‘shiny space confetti’, or play ‘planet pinãta’.

(Which reminds me of the ST:Enterprise episode where the Xindi carve a huge trench across the surface of the Earth. I so wanted the camera to pull back and reveal a giant smiley face!)

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Posted: 03 July 2007 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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What can I say? When it comes to super-villainy I’m all about the old-school.

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Posted: 20 August 2007 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Artificial Life Likely Within 5 Years

Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch and they’re getting closer. Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of “wet artificial life.’’
“It’s going to be a big deal and everybody’s going to know about it,’’ said Mark Bedau, chief operating officer of ProtoLife of Venice, Italy, one of those in the race. “We’re talking about a technology that could change our world in pretty fundamental ways

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Posted: 20 August 2007 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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buba - 20 August 2007 03:32 PM

Artificial Life Likely Within 5 Years

Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch and they’re getting closer. Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of “wet artificial life.’’
“It’s going to be a big deal and everybody’s going to know about it,’’ said Mark Bedau, chief operating officer of ProtoLife of Venice, Italy, one of those in the race. “We’re talking about a technology that could change our world in pretty fundamental ways

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Posted: 20 August 2007 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Definitely a classic case of   “We are going to do it because we can and damn the torpedoes”

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