How a Machine That Can Make Anything Would Change Everything
““Something is going to happen in the next forty years that will change things, probably more than anything else since we left the caves.” –James Burke
James Burke has a vision for the future. He believes that by the middle of this century, perhaps as early as 2042, our world will be defined by a new device: the nanofabricator.
These tiny factories will be large at first, like early computers, but soon enough you’ll be able to buy one that can fit on a desk. You’ll pour in some raw materials—perhaps water, air, dirt, and a few powders of rare elements if required—and the nanofabricator will go to work. Powered by flexible photovoltaic panels that coat your house, it will tear apart the molecules of the raw materials, manipulating them on the atomic level to create…anything you like. Food. A new laptop. A copy of Kate Bush’s debut album, The Kick Inside. Anything, providing you can give it both the raw materials and the blueprint for creation…”
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