Nanobots capable of “stripping the Earth in two hours” may already exist and are in the hands of governments, believes a conspiracy theorist.
The concept of apocalypse-causing nanobots – robots that operate near the scale of a tiny nanometer – was first put forward by Eric Drexler in his 1986 book Engines of Creation.
And the Theories of the Third Kind podcast has since delved into the theory, looking at the increasing role of Artificial Intelligence and this “microscopic” technology.
One of the podcast contributors, Hans, suggested the main threat to civilisation comes in the form of nanobots.
“These little microscopic pieces of machinery start taking orders from something else,” he said. “It overrides its code and it starts eating all organic life, stripping it of all the valuable materials to self-replicate. Scary it’s in some movies.
“He [Eric Drexler] said that if a self-replicating nanobot could be made it could be weaponised. There’s the red nanobot which kills everything, there’s gold nanobots, golden goo as they are called which strip resources from the Earth so we don’t have to do it.”
But the most terrifying aspect to Drexler's theory is that of "gray goo". The term refers to the hypothetical global catastrophic scenario where out-of-control nanorobot self-replicate and consume everything on Earth.
As Hans pointed out, this theory suggests that the whole of Earth could be killed in "less than two hours".
Hans believes that this frightening technology already exists and the worry is it could lead to the scenario of a "student outsmarting the teacher".
“I think we already have that technology,” he said.
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“The governments, they test years ahead of what today is, so it is 2021 and they are testing for 2051. 30 years into the future because we have to make sure that our weapons are formidable from now until that date.
“That’s why you’ve seen the recent update in funding for the government contracts with Boeing, IBM, Raytheon, Lockheed, Northrop and the theory is that this is a weapon that we use to win wars not to kill people but to incapacitate all these wonderful machines, tanks, cannons, guns.
“A computer gets a virus somehow and this gray goo or these nanobots are becoming self-aware, self-replicating. (Draxler) He basically wrote this book back before nanotechs were a big thing.”
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Hans said it is not so hard to believe as “technology is evolving at such an erratic state” and used the example of iPhones taking infrared pics and Facebook “listening to you” while mobile phones were once “science fiction”.
He said: “Just imagine if that was real, noticing that you are not feeling so well all of a sudden or you happen to be walking half a mile and you walk back and you saw a tree when you were walking one way and you walk back and it’s not there.
"Then you think 'is this a simulation?' And then you start bleeding from your nose and you are not feeling so well and before you know it you are nothing but a bunch of grey lifeless matter on the ground because these nanobots have stripped you of all the precious materials it needs.”
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