Technical and Economic Takeoff for AGI and Molecular nanotechnology revisited

In 2010, J Storrs Hall discussed the technical and economic takeoff of AGI (Artificial general intelligence) and molecular nanotechnology.
Here is a quick review of Storrs view of technical takeoff and applying that to Molecular nanotechnology and general AI.

Technical Takeoff
-Embodies the essential function of the proposed technology
-is proof that the concept works
– focuses technical effort
-is a vehicle for practical experience
– attracts financial (etc) resources
-forms a crack in the dam

Molecular Nanotechnology

Inspiration – Life
Theoretical Underpinnings – molecular biology, chemistry, mechanical engineer
Experimentation – nanodevices, positional chemistry, atomically precise fabrication (we are here)
Technical takeoff point – molecular machine tools
Economic takeoff point – nanofactories, molecular-level recycling, cheap devices

General AI

Inspiration Brains
Theoretical Underpinnings -computation, control theory, neuro and psych
Experimentation – computers, software, networks, complex systems
Technical takeoff point – self improving software
Economic takeoff point – robust, trainable AI, useful robots, robo-cars, natural language interfaces

It appears that we will be getting adequate robotic cars, adequate natural language interfaces and useful robots without full AGI.

We also appear likely to get significant quantities of near full strength macro scale graphene. Availability of super-strong material will allow systems to be built that will have capabilities enabled with materials that are ten times stronger.

The delay in getting a true technical takeoffs for Molecular nanotechnology and AGI are seeing more narrow achievements that are getting to high value economic goals that were believed to need the enablement of molecular nanotechnology and AGI.

Getting pieces of the envisioned economic advantage does not mean we automatically will drift to the financial investment and development needed to realize full molecular nanotechnology or AGI.

IBM’s cloud based Watson will enable highly available and profitable useful artificial intelligence. But the missing aspect of a strongly self improving software will mean that a broad acceleration of technological development will not have happened.

I think real molecular nanotechnology will happen first.
It will provide a big boost to many technologies. Space systems, nanomedicine (massive life and health extension) and an overall economic boost.

I think that it will be a slower transition that some expected even after real molecular nanotechnology arrives but it will be a lot faster than the pace of our current advances to develop and rollout full nanotech capabilites. The rollout of full strength graphene system will be accelerated.

The big boost in computing that will be enabled will be trillions of qubits system for robust quantum computers via atomic quantum dot systems. We could get to millions of qubits without molecular nanotechnology. Molecular nanotechnology will enable a high volume of cheaper and more capable systems.

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