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
125 points
38 comments24 min readLW link

“Di­a­mon­doid bac­te­ria” nanobots: deadly threat or dead-end? A nan­otech in­ves­ti­ga­tion

titotal29 Sep 2023 14:01 UTC
151 points
81 comments1 min readLW link

grey goo is unlikely

bhauth17 Apr 2023 1:59 UTC
161 points
109 comments9 min readLW link

Mak­ing Nanobots isn’t a one-shot pro­cess, even for an ar­tifi­cial superintelligance

dankrad25 Apr 2023 0:39 UTC
20 points
13 comments6 min readLW link

How prob­a­ble is Molec­u­lar Nan­otech?

leplen29 Jun 2013 7:06 UTC
75 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

Is Molec­u­lar Nan­otech­nol­ogy “Scien­tific”?

Eliezer Yudkowsky20 Aug 2007 4:11 UTC
39 points
49 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

re: Yud­kowsky on biolog­i­cal materials

bhauth11 Dec 2023 13:28 UTC
179 points
30 comments5 min readLW link

[Question] Why not con­strain wet­labs in­stead of AI?

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

AI-kills-ev­ery­one sce­nar­ios re­quire robotic in­fras­truc­ture, but not nec­es­sar­ily nanotech

avturchin3 Apr 2023 12:45 UTC
52 points
47 comments4 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

Why Yud­kowsky is wrong about “co­va­lently bonded equiv­a­lents of biol­ogy”

titotal6 Dec 2023 14:09 UTC
34 points
40 comments1 min readLW link

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

So8res13 Nov 2021 4:29 UTC
138 points
15 comments40 min readLW link1 review

My thoughts on nan­otech­nol­ogy strat­egy re­search as an EA cause area

Ben_Snodin2 May 2022 17:57 UTC
34 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

Grey Goo Re­quires AI

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

Nanosys­tems are Poorly Abstracted

J Bostock24 Oct 2021 10:44 UTC
25 points
1 comment5 min readLW link

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

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

Drexler’s Nanosys­tems is now available online

Mikhail Samin1 Jun 2024 7:26 UTC
52 points
2 comments1 min readLW link

Drexler’s Nan­otech Forecast

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

Fore­sight In­sti­tute: 2023 Progress & 2024 Plans for fund­ing benefi­cial tech­nol­ogy development

Allison Duettmann22 Nov 2023 22:09 UTC
24 points
1 comment6 min readLW link

Ion Im­plan­ta­tion: The­ory, Equip­ment, Pro­cess, Alternatives

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

To­tal Nano Domination

Eliezer Yudkowsky27 Nov 2008 9:54 UTC
21 points
24 comments10 min readLW link

The hard limits of hard nanotech

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