Exponential general-purpose molecular manufacturing (MM) will lead to severe risks. Virtually everyone who accepts that MM is coming soon -- within 20 years, and possibly much sooner -- agrees that the potential dangers are enormous.
What's not so easy to agree upon is what to do about MM. Some people object to widescale regulation on principle; some say it might be a good idea but would be impossible to implement; some say that the proposed solution (global regulation) could produce greater problems (oppressive monopoly power) than the risks it is supposed to address.
We're not going to pretend that CRN has all the right answers. We've provided a few tentative proposals, but our work so far has been preliminary. As we do further research, some of our opinions are likely to change.
So, we're not officially recommending any solutions at this time; we need to learn much more before we will know what can work in the real world. However, we do think that each of the problems we've identified -- and probably others not yet specified -- must be dealt with somehow.
One of the challenges is to determine the best criteria on which to evaluate solutions. What should be the highest priority: Avoiding nano-war? Environmental protection? Human health? Preventing and curing disease? Ending poverty and starvation? Exploring outer space? Clean energy?
How about happiness?