|-- Spooky teleportation study brings future closer, October 22, 1998, Reuters/CNN, http://cnn.com/|
This technology also offers the promise of limitless replication of virtually any resource required, based on a scan of an original sample, and given sufficient energy and raw mass resources locally with which to generate duplicates and the requisite 'waste' energy (replication and transport technologies are not very efficient in energy usage, making them relatively expensive and 'hot' (in terms of waste heat)). The inefficient nature of these devices in early generations greatly delay their widespread deployment on Earth due to fears of superheating the biosphere beyond acceptable levels. However, subsequent generation examples of these devices do begin to contribute substantially to eliminating what remains of poverty and hunger in certain factions of humanity (as well as offering near-instant transport over terrestrial distances)-- although an awful chaos and collapse in general manufacturing endeavors in some economic sectors ensues as another consequence, forcing massive government intervention and complete destruction and rebuilding of global economies. Fortunately, existing intellectual property rights based on those developed for the world net (which was known in a much more primitive form as the internet) act as a bridge for putting together a whole new foundation for the economy, and advanced AIs help minimize the fall out from the very worst socio-economic disruptions, as the new replicators replace most previous manufacturing facilities.
It takes some time to iron out all the necessary details to satisfy everyone involved. However, this replication technology presents humanity with an extremely valuable new tool, applicable almost across the board to many problems and issues facing the civilization.
|-- Futurists see an era of relentless innovation By CRAIG SAVOYE, Nando Media (http://www.nandotimes.com)/Christian Science Monitor Service (http://www.csmonitor.com), November 29, 1999|
Two, there are specific limitations on the creation of biological matter above a certain level of complexity, intelligence, or totality. Some such items are allowed for valid medical and/or other special requirements. But mostly there are heavy restrictions on what sorts of biomass the first wave of consumer grade replicators may produce. These biomass limitations on all units work in both networked and standalone mode, with additional security measures present where deemed necessary by unit manufacturer or user.
Three, failsafe governors are built-in to prevent creation of certain types of known machines, materials, and related items which are considered known potential hazards to the user or to others-- such as nerve gas or nuclear weapons, etc., etc. The governors of course vary in what restrictions are present, depending on the model of the replicator in question: a consumer unit's governors work differently from a medical unit's, which work differently from a military unit's. The failsafe governors on all units work in both networked and standalone mode, with additional security measures present where deemed necessary by unit manufacturer or user.
Four, there's a wide range of commercially owned non-obsolete technologies and similar items and materials which require special authorization and/or information from the legal owners to be created via replicator. Typically, a user must pay such an owner a fee to produce such items with their own machine. Items in this category are usually simply unavailable to a non-networked (standalone) replicator, except for certain emergency related items which enjoy a special over-ride contingency for which the user and/or other agencies are obligated to pay for as soon as the replicator's logs can be accessed by authorities. The intelligence in the replicator itself makes most decisions in regard to classifying emergency situations and choosing suitable products to meet the circumstances, based on both its own sensor readings and interaction with citizens in close proximity. However, replicators also have built-in 'dumb' contingency modes for times when the replicator intelligence itself is damaged or unavailable, etc., in order that basic human survival during emergencies is adequately provided for under all imaginable conditions.
Included in a replicator's database among obsolete technologies are many woefully inefficient (and in some circumstances, downright dangerous) items, which themselves are restricted to availability under only particular circumstances, or for only certain kinds of purposes. For instance, some technologies are only allowed for use in increasing accuracy and realism in scenarios investigating particularly heinous unsolved crimes of past history, while others are only allowed for serious research purposes requiring dangerous old tech for a jumping off point. Replicators are capable of guiding users to the best choice of obsolete technologies for their immediate purpose, where users feel no need for fee-required non-obsoletes.
Six, active replicator users must cope with a never-ending need to feed their units raw mass, typically the heavy metal bars or stone wafers shaped to fit their particular size unit. Replicators larger than closet size may require special equipment to load their feed ( if the user is a high percentage biological).
Seven, replicators may also reconvert products back into generic feed bars again-- but in the process users see a vivid illustration of the inefficiency of replicators (since it can take several products to reproduce the original amount of feed used to create a single item). Most replicators have built-in blocks against converting some items and materials-- such as high order biomass. This prevents murderers from disposing of bodies, among other things. Consumer replicators have even greater restrictions, not allowing conversion of anything but recommended feed bars/wafers, and/or products which the replicator may recognize as being listed in its internal database or a remote networked archive.
Unfortunately, replicator technology suffers some significant flaws for many years. Namely, the process proves significantly inefficient-- only around 12-15% efficient in the earliest models, with the rate slowly rising to some 25% over several decades. By another several decades later the efficiency still remains stubbornly below 50%. This nagging inefficiency problem means replicators produce lots of waste heat, as well as waste materials as byproducts of their operation (when users remove a newly replicated product from the bin, there is also a certain amount of waste debris requiring disposal to be found surrounding the product). Replicator waste materials cannot be immediately reused even in military or industrial replicators, requiring a detour through special molecular repolarization processes first. All this makes replicators relatively costly for decades, both in terms of money and environmental consequences, and contributes to their delay in widespread deployment.
Eight, replicators would seem to be naturals for spacecraft, since they allow for homogeneous materials storage which may be utilized for a very wide variety of purposes and then recycled over and over again. Unfortunately, the relatively high inefficiency of replication technologies during their first century or so makes them unappealing for use in space. Although the waste heat they produce can be readily released or possibly re-used in the space environment, their considerable waste of mass cannot so easily be addressed. For this reason replicators see very limited use in spacecraft during their first century.
|-- "Visions:How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century" (1997, Anchor/Doubleday Books) by best-selling author and physicist Dr. Michio Kaku (source: Kaku's own web site ["http://www.wbaifree.org/explorations/index.html"]).|