Last week scientists were all over the place, in a frenzy, announcing the birth of Xenobots. XenoWhat? you may be asking yourself. Well if you missed it, they are PacMan shaped blobs that have become the worlds first self replicating biological robots. Xenobots.
The New York Times calls them ” Virtual figures brought to life.” They also call them ” The love child between artificial intelligence and molecular biology.”
How long will it take before they start injecting these little boys and girls into our bodies? Maybe they can help paraplegics move and walk and talk. Maybe these Pac Man can consume cancer and allow the host body to survive. Maybe birth defects could be detected and fixed inside the womb. I see a potential for a lot of good.
Yet that dark corner in my mind, which I keep shut, and usually don’t want to look in there, whispers horrors coming our way. A secretive, militaristic, oligarchic government could up their game to control and own us even more than they already do.
Only time will tell. Hopefully more good than evil will come from these little Frankenstein’s. Another surprise, for me, is that Xenobots are large enough to be seen in plain sight. These aren’t molecular size creatures needing a microscope to see them.
What will their legal standing become in the future. They are alive. Will there be legislation focused on controlling and protecting their lives? This may sound flippant and even foolish right now but just watch. How is life and living defined when they are created by a human. Does this human or group of humans own these living creatures? There must be a patent somewhere stopping all of us from trying to grow our own little Pac Men Xenobots.
Artificial Intelligence just took a gargantuan leap into the future. I, for one, am fascinated and profoundly disturbed.
My mind is crazy with rampant questions. How do you feel about this?
Thanks for reading.
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