Documenting the Coming Singularity

Friday, October 05, 2007

Creation of Artificial Life to be Announced

We knew it was coming, but perhaps not this soon. Guardian Unlimited is reporting the imminent announcement of the creation of a completely man-made lifeform.
Craig Venter, the controversial DNA researcher involved in the race to decipher the human genetic code, has built a synthetic chromosome out of laboratory chemicals and is poised to announce the creation of the first new artificial life form on Earth.
Will this be the development that finally captures the attention of the public? Will people begin to pay attention to the accelerating pace of technological progress? Will the idea of the singularity become firmly planted in the popular imagination? We will know soon enough.
The announcement, which is expected within weeks and could come as early as Monday at the annual meeting of his scientific institute in San Diego, California, will herald a giant leap forward in the development of designer genomes. It is certain to provoke heated debate about the ethics of creating new species and could unlock the door to new energy sources and techniques to combat global warming.
I can already hear the obtuse accusations that will be launched by the religious, and the ways that politicians will attempt to co-opt developments to the benefit of their own agendas. More's the pity. But no matter, the singularity will happen anyway. Stay tuned.

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