Amara D. AngelicaThe article Congressional hearing addresses public concerns about nanotech said
Concerns about the possible negative consequences of nanotech may stifle vital nanotech research that could otherwise result in medical and other important breakthroughs. Expert witnesses at a congressional hearing recommended wider public debate, greater resources to develop defensive technology, and funding of societal, ethical, and environmental impact studies along with technology forecasting and basic science studies.
The convergence of information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology could result in self-replicating, nanoscale robots with potentially destructive consequences, according to computer-scientist Bill Joy, writing in Wired magazine, and others. These concerns led the U.S. House Committee on Science of the U.S. House of Representatives to hold a hearing on April 9, 2003 to “examine the societal implications of nanotechnology and H.R. 766, the Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2002.”
The hearing was also motivated by Michael Crichton’s science-fiction novel Prey, which “brought Bill Joy’s concerns to a wider public and reinvigorated the debate over the possible negative consequences of future developments in information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology”, stated the hearing’s charter. Committee Chairman Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) kicked off the hearing by warning that the debate about nanotechnology itself “could turn into ‘gray goo’.”
Amara D. Angelica was the author of this article and is editor of
and its daily Accelerating
She is also director of research for the coming film, The
Singularity Is Near.
She was editor and chief
researcher of Ray Kurzweil’s The
Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology and Kurzweil’s
Dr. Terry Grossman’s
Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever.
She is a coauthor of the forthcoming Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge.
Until recently she was also Director of Innovations at
Technology Innovations LLC,
where she was a science writer/editor and developed intellectual
in biomedical, nanoelectronics, biophysics, and bionanotechnology
Amara authored The coming superintelligence: who will be in control?, Texas thinks small, plans Nanotech Corridor, Techies vs. Neo-Luddites: Progress Action Coalition Formed, Humans and Machines Converge at ACM1, Movie reviews: A Beautiful Mind, Vanilla Sky, Waking Life, The New Face of War: America’s dependence on technology exposes our infrastructure to cyberterrorism, Surfing The Singularity: Damien Broderick, and Intuitive music.
Her background includes more than 30 years as a technology and science journalist, senior systems analyst, and aerospace human factors engineer and operations analyst. She is a member of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) Task Force and was a member of the Extropy Institute’s Executive Advisory Team.
Read her Parallel universes, the Matrix, and superintelligence interview of String Field Theory cofounder, Michio Kaku!