The DNA-Singularity Cometh

In Hacking the President’s DNA, Hessel, Goodman and Kotler write in The Atlantic about how exponentiality has changed the game of cost and possibility in the world of DNA sequencing and, perhaps one day soon, customized drugs at the level of single individuals.  While much of their article is about the potential bioweapons applications of ever-cheaping methods for designing completely new sequences, and perhaps even new forms of living organisms, the article as a whole is a telling portrayal of the speed at which biology hacking is gaining momentum in breathtaking ways. In my book’s penultimate chapter I suggest that some of the most socially discordant results of advanced robotics technologies may surface, not from shiny new machines with gears and silicon, but because of sophisticated hacks we manage on our very own species.  The advances in biology can lead to great discoveries for quality of life improvements around the world; and they can also lead to the socially dystopian possible futures that I and others have brought forth.  Protecting the President is certainly an issue; but how about protecting society and humanity?


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