Synthetic Reproduction – Should We Be Afraid?

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lightning strikes

I found the following article fascinating: Scientists Create Synthetic Organisms That Can Reproduce.

When I first read the headline, I had to go back and read it again. Then I opened the article and read it. And then…I sat back wondering where this was headed.

We now have tiny organisms called Xenobots who are capable of creating more Xenobots. Of course, there is a lot more to the article about why scientists are doing this and what they hope to achieve, but this news stuns me. If these artificial beings are able to make more of themselves, at what point do they stop being artificial?

The dystopian trope is indeed a familiar one. Humans build robots or androids who decide they are better than their creators. Computers with artificial intelligence in positions of great power become sentient and abandon their programming to run the world better than homo sapiens ever could. The list goes on and on.

There was a time in history where Jules Verne wrote about submarines long before they traveled far below the ocean’s surface. Comment below if you know which book I’m talking about! Point being, many science fiction stories imagined devices that future technology became capable of producing. And there is no reason that all of this technology will always be beneficial or even properly understood.

So yes, I can see a future where creatures created by human hands evolve into their own unique species and become capable of making their own choices and following their own destiny. And if that destiny conflicts with our own, I hope we were smart enough to build them with a safety switch.

What future do you see?