Sunday, August 19, 2007

AP: "Artificial life likely in 3 to 10 years" but it will have a poor self-image

The trouble with creating artiificial life is that it never comes to visit you:
Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch and they're getting closer.

Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of "wet artificial life."
They haven't yet figured out how to to give it enough sense to come out of the rain evidently.
"It's going to be a big deal and everybody's going to know about it," said Mark Bedau, chief operating officer of ProtoLife of Venice, Italy, one of those in the race. "We're talking about a technology that could change our world in pretty fundamental ways — in fact, in ways that are impossible to predict."

That first cell of synthetic life — made from the basic chemicals in DNA — may not seem like much to non-scientists. For one thing, you'll have to look in a microscope to see it.[...]
Thus alleviating the danger that the other articificial life will make fun of it.
Bedau said there are legitimate worries about creating life that could "run amok," but there are ways of addressing it, and it will be a very long time before that is a problem.

"When these things are created, they're going to be so weak, it'll be a huge achievement if you can keep them alive for an hour in the lab," he said. "But them getting out and taking over, never in our imagination could this happen."
That's what they said about Napoleon.

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