TagLast edit: 27 Feb 2023 2:26 UTC by fidgetwho

Nanotechnology is the field of study concerned with the manipulation of matter at an atomic and molecular scale. Typically, this involves structures with sizes ranging from 1 to 100 nanometres. It is currently one of the most well-funded areas worldwide. The term was first coined in 1974 by Norio Taniguchi.

The emergence of nanotechnology as a field by itself was the result of the convergence of several lines of work. These include the development of the scanning tunneling microscope by Gerd Binnig and Einrich Rohrer in 1980s, Richard Feynman’s talk “There’s plenty of room at the Bottom” in 1959 and Eric Drexler suggestions of molecular manipulation in the 70s.

The field of nanotechonology has led to the development of a huge amount of new technologies and the improvement of old methods. From drug-delivering systems to electronic chips development, there are nowadays hundreds of available functional applications stemming from this area. Besides the size and mobility advantages of such devices and technologies, the fundamental quantum properties that emerge at nano scales continue to defy researchers to speculate of further developments.

Drexler has proposed, with his molecular nanotechnology, that the field could evolve to exploit more than just this scale properties, this pure nanomaterials research. His suggestions, highly speculative, include research on the ability of developing means of mechanosynthesis—such as having miniature production lines using machines to build structures. This would allow, for example, the precise control of chemical reactions, eliminating the imprecision existing in conventional chemistry.

When discussing the development of Friendly AI, Yudkowsky proposes that the unrestricted access to nanotechnology by an Unfriendly artificial intelligence could have catastrophic results for mankind.

Further Reading & References

See also

Moore’s Law, AI, and the pace of progress

Veedrac11 Dec 2021 3:02 UTC
120 points
38 comments24 min readLW link

How prob­a­ble is Molec­u­lar Nan­otech?

leplen29 Jun 2013 7:06 UTC
74 points
56 comments8 min readLW link

FAI FAQ draft: What is nan­otech­nol­ogy?

lukeprog22 Nov 2011 22:13 UTC
3 points
23 comments2 min readLW link

Effec­tive Altru­ism Book Re­view: Rad­i­cal Abun­dance (Nan­otech­nol­ogy)

Isnasene14 Oct 2018 23:57 UTC
45 points
5 comments19 min readLW link

Mini ad­vent cal­en­dar of Xrisks: nanotechnology

Stuart_Armstrong5 Dec 2012 11:02 UTC
6 points
25 comments1 min readLW link

For FAI: Is “Molec­u­lar Nan­otech­nol­ogy” putting our best foot for­ward?

leplen22 Jun 2013 4:44 UTC
86 points
118 comments3 min readLW link

Is Molec­u­lar Nan­otech­nol­ogy “Scien­tific”?

Eliezer Yudkowsky20 Aug 2007 4:11 UTC
37 points
63 comments2 min readLW link

LINK: Ralph Merkle lec­ture, ‘In­tro­duc­tion to Molec­u­lar Nan­otech­nol­ogy’

lukeprog22 May 2011 3:38 UTC
10 points
4 comments1 min readLW link

The Cen­ter for Sus­tain­able Nanotechnology

ESRogs26 Feb 2013 6:55 UTC
8 points
2 comments2 min readLW link

Com­ments on Car­l­smith’s “Is power-seek­ing AI an ex­is­ten­tial risk?”

So8res13 Nov 2021 4:29 UTC
137 points
14 comments40 min readLW link1 review

My thoughts on nan­otech­nol­ogy strat­egy re­search as an EA cause area

Ben_Snodin2 May 2022 17:57 UTC
32 points
0 comments42 min readLW link

Pitch­ing an Align­ment Softball

mu_(negative)7 Jun 2022 4:10 UTC
47 points
13 comments10 min readLW link

[Question] Why not con­strain wet­labs in­stead of AI?

Lone Pine21 Mar 2023 18:02 UTC
13 points
10 comments1 min readLW link

To­tal Nano Domination

Eliezer Yudkowsky27 Nov 2008 9:54 UTC
26 points
23 comments10 min readLW link

The hard limits of hard nanotech

lsparrish7 Nov 2010 0:49 UTC
27 points
53 comments3 min readLW link

Grey Goo Re­quires AI

harsimony15 Jan 2021 4:45 UTC
8 points
11 comments4 min readLW link

Nanosys­tems are Poorly Abstracted

Jemist24 Oct 2021 10:44 UTC
24 points
1 comment5 min readLW link

Ion Im­plan­ta­tion: The­ory, Equip­ment, Pro­cess, Alternatives

ethanmorse8 May 2022 22:30 UTC
5 points
0 comments16 min readLW link

Drexler’s Nan­otech Forecast

PeterMcCluskey30 Jul 2022 0:45 UTC
26 points
28 comments3 min readLW link

[Question] Will nan­otech/​biotech be what leads to AI doom?

tailcalled15 Nov 2022 17:38 UTC
4 points
8 comments2 min readLW link
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