Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gray Goo on the Big Screen

An interesting article came out today on Wired.com entitled Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: The Singularity. In the article, Ray Kurzweil discusses the plot of his upcoming docudrama concerning the future of rapidly accelerating technology and its inevitable impact on human beings (based on his book The Singularity Is Near: A True Story About The Future). According to journalist Eliza Strickland, "As a result of the exponential progress of technology, Kurzweil believes, we're racing towards a day when the power of the artificially intelligent machines we create will exceed human brainpower."

As this relates to nanotechnology, Eric Drexler and Bill Joy will make an appearance in the movie. Furthermore, the underlying narrative of the movie will be based on a "gray goo" attack with which the main character, Ramona the avatar, will have to confront. (see the following excerpts from the article)

Wired News: What's in the documentary part?
Kurzweil: It contains footage of myself, and also me interviewing 20 big thinkers, talking about their ideas, and their ideas about my ideas. We have people like Eric Drexler, one of the founders of nanotech; Aubrey de Grey, a theorist about radical life extension; Bill Joy.

Wired News: So in the movie's narrative, Ramona the avatar is the main character?
Kurzweil: It's a Pinocchio story. She detects a "gray goo" attack, an attack of self-replicating nanobots. The Department of Homeland Security is oblivious to this, and won't listen to her, so she gets her other avatar friends to work on this. But she breaks some homeland security protocols in the process. She's arrested -- and there's a discussion about how you can arrest a virtual person...

It is important to note that Kurzweil has some interesting connections to the nanotech discourse. Some of his viewpoints and affiliations are highlighted on his Wikipedia page.

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