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FFAI Problems and Solutions by Mind Map: FFAI Problems and Solutions
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FFAI Problems and Solutions

overall vision


where will progress happen?

manufacturing used to be hard, require specialized skills and tools

3D printing at all levels is changing that

limiting factor is design and software

current limitations

3D printers are limited in materials

resolution of 3D printers is still limited

design is extremely laborious and challenging

molecular tools are horrendously expensive and require precision manufacturing

control of these machines/devices requires lots of low-level programming


largely automate design and construction of 3D machines

replace manual control systems with machine learning systems

replace precision manufacturing and dead reckoning with intelligent feedback control using computer vision

figure out how to "telescope scale and precision": use medium sized 3D printers to create both high precision smaller devices, as well as much larger devices

keep it cheap and self-replicating; it's not the ability to do this, it's the ability to do it cheaply that counts

potential projects

next semester: build 3D printer

next fall: build interesting objects with 3D printer

build a cheap 3D metal printer

use 3D computer vision / stereo to help with making matching parts

use machine learning and evolutionary algorithms to help in the design of new machines

use neural networks for visual feedback control

intelligent assembly, picking, etc. without programming

(also collaboration with robotics group)

cheap 3D printed nanodevices: what can we do?

DNA synthesizer

DNA sequencer

micro-chemlab, synthesis, analysis

micro robotic arm for picking




additive manufacturing, 3D printing

printing with moving parts

printing with moving parts

printing with metal

RepRap self-replicating printer

contour crafting

printable electronics

shift away from manual labor

more design work, white collar work?

not necessarily... automation of design, construction, skills

next semester: building a 3D printer from scratch (self-replication)



bulk synthesis of molecules

manipulation of DNA and organisms through genetics


create technologies at the molecular level

"molecular machines"

nanotech manufacturing

NB: this vision is probably unrealistic, but parallel molecular manufacturing is possible

IBM millipede


NB: the little bump is about 200 atoms tall

you can't see the real tip of the AFM

ATPase rotor

myosin motor

single molecule sequencing

many more nanotech-based DNA sequencing methods: nanopores, ion torrent, etc.

combination instruments

electron beam lithography, ion lithography, SEM

nano-level technologies

DNA and carbon nanotubes are key molecules

directed self-assembly of complex structures using DNA

direct imaging and manipulation of individual molecules with AFM

reuse of biological components for technological means

intermediate-level technologies


micro-3D printing



key technologies

understanding existing biological molecular machines

understanding and designing self-assembling structures

mapping computation onto molecular machines


information technology

machine learning

automated design

text mining, data mining, knowledge management

improved economic modeling and prediction

general AI

faster, more parallel computers

(won't talk much more about this since you already probably know quite a bit about it)

energy - LFTR

Thorium reactors (LFTR) - molten salt, intrinsically much safer, non-proliferative

burns fuel almost entirely (Uranium: 0.7%)

fuel mixed with salt, stays molten, can't "melt down"

life time supply ($40/kg)

energy reserves

space technologies

robotics and automated manufacturing, crucial for space exploration, lots of resources in space in nearly ideal state (meteoric iron), vision, robotic probes automatically mine metal asteroids, convert into space stations etc.

planets are uninteresting; the real action is in the asteroid belt: large amounts of resources, easily accessible, no launch costs

big tech

doesn't seem to be related to CS at first glance, but...

made possible by, rapid prototyping, design software, control and automation, 3D additive manufacturing

scale of these projects would be too large without information technologies

big tech supplies energy and raw materials; what are we going to do with them?


two possibilities

accept growth limits, achieve sustainability

new technological revolution to extend growth

achieving sustainability

by fiat, limit carbon emissions, enforce family planning, energy intensity

through development, per capita GDP vs fertility, energy intensity over time


development reduces fertility to below replacement rates

technological development supports economic development

technological development also decreases energy intensity

attempts to enforce limits on carbon emissions or population growth by fiat may interfere with economic development

it's unclear what the outcome of either strategy is

better technology is likely to help either way


figure out through simulations what the outcomes of various choices are

WS: multi-agent simulations


exponential growth is unsustainable

1% growth = doubling in 70 years

population growth

energy consumption

carbon use (NRO)


population growth in biology

initial growth - exponential

final slowdown - exponential

same reasons (biologically)

multiple S-curves can stack

human societies have hit resource limits multiple times

technological revolutions have started a new growth phase each time

the time scale has been getting shorter each time