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CRN Releases Technical Commentary on Greenpeace Nanotech Report

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology has prepared a 10-page document that augments the recent Greenpeace report, "Future Technologies, Today's Choices", which addresses the risks and benefits of nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.

“The Greenpeace report is a welcome and much-needed contribution to serious discussion of nanotechnology’s promise and potential problems,” said Mike Treder, Executive Director of CRN. “We are especially pleased with their moderate and balanced approach. There is more, however, that needs to be said on the topic.”

Chris Phoenix, CRN's Director of Research, said, "Because the Greenpeace report deals with two very complex topics, nanotechnology and AI, they could devote only a few pages to molecular manufacturing. Our commentary is intended to supplement their report and to clarify some important issues."

The document prepared by CRN provides greater detail on the current state of research in molecular nanotechnology (MNT), and discusses possible near-term developments in limited molecular nanotechnology (LMNT).

Eric Drexler, chairman of the Foresight Institute and an advisor to CRN, said, “Molecular manufacturing can have large consequences even in early versions with relatively narrow abilities. This contribution from CRN makes it clear that LMNT is an important and accessible objective.”

CRN’s technical commentary includes an analysis of the requirements for developing LMNT. “The barriers to rapid development are mainly those of policy, not technology,” said Phoenix. “There is no known scientific objection to LMNT, and the technical problems are rapidly being broken down into manageable sub-problems.”

CRN believes that LMNT, while much easier to achieve than full MNT, may have nearly equivalent appeal and impact. A targeted rapid development program may be launched for any of a variety of reasons in the near future. “Recent advances in LMNT research should underscore to policy makers the urgent need for discussion of possible consequences, both positive and negative,” said Treder.

Technical Commentary on Greenpeace Nanotechnology Report

CRN was a non-profit research and advocacy organization, completely dependent on small grants and individual contributions.


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