Core Technologies for ChemBioIT Roadmap: Shortlist
10. ECOLOGICAL & SOCIAL ASPECTS
- Sustainable energy and resource systems: “cradle to cradle” & recycling
Information technology will be critical to allow artificial chemical and biological processes to exploit low density ambient energy and material resources and to manage waste products in a sustainable form. Chemical technologies that can operate efficiently to do construction in complex environments and without destruction of natural balances require combined ecological and chemical research.
- Personal fabrication and internet supported fabrication systems
A separate document already describes a roadmap to sustainable personal living technology. The vision here is to move towards universal functional construction on a desktop (the PF augmenting the now ubiquitous PC) through replacing CAD explicit 3D design information with quasi-genetic digital encodings of self-assembling construction process control in a well-defined and replicable construction environment (the personal fabricator). The reproducibility and communicability of construction protocols will allow internet communities to build up and exchange increasingly complex constructions.
- Human in the loop personal technical systems: from diagnostics to support
Extending high information chemical content processing from the nascent field of personal medicine (archetype is the parallel paper diagnostics for infectious diseases of Whitesides) to allow dedicated synthesis of appropriate systems and medications for personal therapy will benefit from having humans in the loop to monitor and choose acceptable pathways. Here it is envisioned that in the long term an ecology of devices and control points must be developed.
- Social consequences and goals of ChemBioIT e.g. developing countries, young & old
Neil Gershenfeld with personal fabrication, George Whitesides with paper diagnostics and our own SPLIT initiative in sustainable personal living technology have implemented or explored the social consequences of injecting IT into fine-grained fabrication and projecting this down to the level of personal solutions and chemicals. The consequences are potentially far reaching, with local fabrication at all scales impacting the fabric of society and the sources of innovation and access and autonomy in technology in numerous ways.