In their most recent book, “Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever” Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman explain how new technologies especially nanotechnology will push human lifespans to centuries and eventually longer.
The authors believe that if Baby Boomers live healthy lives they will live long enough to see the day when genetic information can be reprogrammed giving them a virtually unlimited healthy life. During the next two decades the authors expect nanobots will not only help us live longer but improve and enhance our mental and physical capabilities by factors of thousands and eventually millions.
A nano-meter is one billionth of a meter or about the size of five carbon atoms; this is very close to the molecular level and scientists are already creating new materials and devices that are being manufactured on this scale.
According to Kurzweil we will eventually be able to create devices that are manufactured on the molecular level by putting together fragments of molecules in new ways. Once we design a new object or device we will send a file over the Internet to a nano printer that will assemble molecules according to the instructions in the file. There will be no practical limits to what can be transmitted and printed: clothing, construction material, medicine, body tissues and organs.
Exponential Growth in Nanotechnolgy Capabilities
According to Kurzweil, scientists will develop robots, called “respirocytes,” the size of red blood cells, one-thousand times more powerful than our biological cells. Due to the exponential not linear growth and progress in technological development these cells will be 1 billion times more powerful in 25 years than they are today. Nanobots will destroy pathogens, cancer cells, repair DNA, destroy toxins and reverse the aging process.
The possibilities are mind-boggling and there is some discussion of limiting the technology. However scientists believe that regulating nanotechnology will push it underground with far worse consequences.