Pace of Super-technology Will Define the 21st Century

There are super-technologies which are emerging that will define the 21st century.

The highest potential super-technologies are ones which will enhance intelligence and human control of the material world at molecular and other levels.

The super-technologies are
Genome editing applied to cognitive enhancement and antiaging
Molecular nanotechnology for nanomedicine, next level computation
AI and quantum computers

There is CRISPR and genome editing beyond CRISPR. This can be used for cognitive enhancement via embryo selection and direct editing and modification of embryos and adult humans.

Molecular nanotechnology has been developing greater control of DNA, RNA and proteins but has not reached the point of exponential scaling. Mature molecular nanotechnology would be a massive boost to genome engineering, antiaging and cognitive enhancement.

Ido Bachelet was working on programmable DNA origami buckets for nanomedicine. The work was discussed in 2012 to 2016 but has gone into stealth-mode since it was purchased by Pfizer.

Nanoscale robots exhibiting quorum sensing. Yaniv Amir, Almogit Abu-Horowitz, Justin Werfel, Ido Bachelet. 2018. Biorxiv.

Multi-agent systems demonstrate the ability to collectively perform complex tasks—e.g., construction, search, and locomotion—with greater speed, efficiency, or effectiveness than could a single agent alone. Direct and indirect coordination methods allow agents to collaborate to share information and adapt their activity to fit dynamic situations. A well-studied example is quorum sensing (QS), a mechanism allowing bacterial communities to coordinate and optimize various phenotypes in response to population density. Here we implement, for the first time, bio-inspired QS in robots fabricated from DNA origami, which communicate by transmitting and receiving diffusing signals. The mechanism we describe includes features such as programmable response thresholds and quorum quenching, and is capable of being triggered by proximity of a specific target cell. Nanoscale robots with swarm intelligence could carry out tasks that have been so far unachievable in diverse fields such as industry, manufacturing and medicine.

Artificial intelligence will soon go from tens of billions of dollars to trillions of dollars in investment and impact. There needs to be the merging of deep learning with logical and symbolic AI. Large scale quantum computers will also help machine learning and computation. Both AI and Quantum computers will be enhanced by mature molecular nanotechnology.