Consider that Turing had realised that only a certain set of rules need to be satisfied in order to achieve or solve any sort of computation – given the time. The very fact that the logistics of this problem are solved using the medium of biomolecules heralds a new age in the world of computing – a world that has already been exposed to the brilliant and highly used concepts of neural networking and genetic algorithms.
Turing’s Machine :
A Turing machine is a theoretical device that manipulates symbols on a strip of tape according to a table of rules. Despite its simplicity, a Turing machine can be adapted to simulate the logic of any computer algorithm, and is particularly useful in explaining the functions of a CPU inside a computer.
This was what was achieved on some level by Shapiro and Benenson. We know that this level of complexity has been achieved in the lab and has had a miraculous effect in specific areas of medicine.
The most exciting thought about this is that when we look at any biological machine – I use machine in a very shallow sense of the word only since the ‘machine’ I speak of is the human body . The human body is designed like a program except its far more efficient and more importantly , much more importantly – it can LEARN and GROW . These two things are so taken for granted that we fail to recognise the enormous complexity which they hide within their apparent simplicity. There have been a minute few programmers who have designed algorithms which learn to grow , adapt and evolve based on the kind or surrounding that they are placed in . This is the kind of world we are now envisioning. Biomolecules hold the key to how we learn and grow – through enzymes, hormones , and of course – the kingpin of it all – DNA .
Once complete biological machines become a reality – which looks to happen within the next century at the very least considering the exponential growth in science that we have experienced as yet , we could be looking at a world where humanity might actually cease to be useful , at least as themselves .We MAY, in effect, be looking at a world of cyborgs who analyse the world rationally without hormones and enzymes clouding their judgment but at the same time using the very same to allow for their development . I refuse to comment on the good or bad in such a situation, I just believe that such a situation will and must come to be for humanity to save itself and this world as well. It is at the moment nothing more than an exercise in thought brought about by another exercise in thought, but the possibilities – they are truly remarkable and boundless.