4D-printing following fast on the heels of 3D printing, nano-technology, micro-robotics, swarms of tiny drones, self-healing cuts and tears, shape-adaptable contraptions — they are the forerunners of the wide ranging effort to mimic life as an entity where brain and body are one. We build our own masters — the next rank of evolution where the lessons of natural evolution has been consicously studied and augmented; randomness is lavishly applied, and unleashed to achieve levels not achievable through step-wise logic based on knowledge so far. The materials, the motions, the energy involved are part and parcel of the computing capacity engaged in this super entity. Quantum computing engages matter more deeply than Turing machines, and Post-Quantum machines will tap deeper into sub-atomic order. The ComputerThing will encapsulate kinetics and logic predicated on the basic behavior of matter and energy — optimized by virtue of the knowledge of physics, invisible to the “blind watchman” of the Darwinian evolution.
These ComputerThings will crack the key to consciousness because they mimic life, and do life better than we do the process, and when that happens, they might keep us in a zoo…
But stop we can’t wherever the road leads.
It will be a while, and it would face a tough competitor: in an attempt to preserve its role at the top of the evolution ladder, man will use his knowledge to upgrade its own genetic code, attempting to emerge as a superhuman, but human nonetheless. This DNA upgrade will experience a sooner success than the ComputerThing because it is a linear progression. The ComputerThing will require re-working the material connections: is carbon the most fitting base element? What is the ideal material equivalent for DNA to store oodles of information, and is the DNA-RNA mechanism the best we can think of? Evolution is happenstance, not an optimal design. Its trial-and-error cycles are very wasteful, as they overcome forward ignorance. There is no apparent reason why the product of evolution will not opt to improve upon it.
Put it differently, if so far we have popped up and emerged without intelligent design, then why not improve upon our lot and start again, from square one, deploying our hard-won insight, and outdo natural evolution?
This vision is so far in the future that I can claim very little credibility to it, but then again, ditractors have little to stand on either. It is so thin-airy, but it is noteworthy. Let’s keep this vision in mind.
D&G Sciences — Innovation Productivity Corporation plans to apply its innovation productivity appraisal tools (IPA-tools), to prepare a preliminary estimate of the ComputerThing scenario. Any interest?