Are we ready for organic (and quantum) computing?

By | January 24, 2013
The sci-fi touch to non- traditional computing still seems somewhat distant, even though it's already on our doorstep and only a matter of time before these technologies become affordable: your future computer could be in form of a microorganism, and online banking ciphers we use today could be cracked with trivial effort. These are already reality today. The only thing preventing mainstream use is their high cost.

But it also raises some interesting questions. Is 'protection because of it's high cost' really such a good protection? It's moving us into a very tiered, caste society with lots of potential for power- hungry abuse. Are we ready for organic computers, injected borg- like into our bodies? Adenoviruses used for medical treatment are just a trivial example of what future 'computers' could do. Should general computing on organic computers be restricted – say by the three laws of robotics? Where will the grey line fall?

/via +John Blossom 

Computer files stored accurately on DNA in new breakthrough – Telegraph
Scientists have recorded data including Shakespearean sonnets and an MP3 file on strands of DNA, in a breakthrough which could see millions of records stored on a handful of molecules rather than …

10 thoughts on “Are we ready for organic (and quantum) computing?

  1. Sophie Wrobel

    +Francois Demers oligopolies and artificial barriers to market are quite effective at stifling competition. Why is decentralized energy production at over 40% in Denmark, and nowhere near anywhere else in Europe? Artificial barriers to market entry, thanks to governments and/or lobbyists from large energy sector players. True free competition only exists in theory.

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  2. Francois Demers

    Actually +Gurudatta Raut (please tell me that it is your real name) I remember a time when the price of gold was $35 an ounce.

    Like any other catastrophe, and I mean here a radical change, not a disaster, we could prepare for what we can forecast and adapt to what we cannot.
    However, I am not sure that I am ready to buy the idea that technological advances are forces of nature: blind, chaotic, unpredictable and uncontrollable, ok, enough adjectives, I have to keep some for the week-end. Not ready to quit yet.

    +Sophie Wrobel I was thinking of a recently-forgotten market force: competition. It was once known to put pressure on price.
    God! I am starting to sound like Ayn Rand, someone, kill me, perhaps with that license germ, I have no immune system.
    And there is a Titus! You may know him as Titian. In any case: the son of Vespasian, inventor of the public toilet. I am not sure Titius or Domitian (his son) ever invented anything. well, no patent-able thing.

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  3. birger monsen

    My first hard drive was all of 5MB. The Apple ][ only supported 360K floppies so it looked like 14 360K floppy drives from the OS. Seems incredible now, but it will only accelerate, +Francois Demers. can we really prepare? I think we must adapt rather than prepare. There is no way we can prepare for the quick pace of change in tech.

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  4. Sophie Wrobel

    +Francois Demers but only if you convince the patent lawyers and riaa that possessing a copy of something is not infringement of intellectual rights. hm… how about a germ that makes you sick if you didn't renew your license on time (or don't have one)? do not worry, there'll be ways to make sure technology that could be free isn't.

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  5. Francois Demers

    +Sophie Wrobel what would have happened if the Vikings had had GPS navigation? If the warrior caste of medieval Japan had had submarines?
    I think the question is not so much "Are we prepared?" as What are we doing to prepare? Socially? Ethically? Personally?
    I once bought a whole 8K (you read that right) of RAM for more than a thousand dollars, extending my computer's to a whopping 13K total.
    I takes a very short time for any technology that enters the consumer market to see its price approach its cost of fabrication + marketing… If the technology is self-replicating, it can become basically free.
    I am looking forward to an interesting decade.

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  6. birger monsen

    "are we ready?" not yet, but we had better become ready as we see which way(s) these new trends take us. So many exciting developments in quantum computing, quantum storage, optical computing, and now storage on a molecular level.

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