Future Ethics: Nanobots

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This class has passed

What’s it all about?

Nanotechnology and nanobots is a concept that has fascinated humanity for decades, but which has only recently started to emerge as a truly possible technology. The implications of this are colossal, allowing construction at impossible scales and complexity, treatment of diseases virtually without collateral damage, and profound advances to computing power that could take us into a whole new era of human capacity. Assuming of course, that we can keep the little critters under control. And when you’re talking about machines that are 100 times smaller than the thickness of human hair, that could be quite the challenge – even before you consider the possibility of malicious use.

What will we cover?

In this class we will explore the nature of nanotechnology, its potential benefits and dangers, both through accident and misuse, as well as how these risks could be handled. We will look at the social, political and ethical dimensions of the technology and, most importantly, see what you can do to ensure it is used for the betterment of humanity, and doesn’t turn us all into a giant puddle of goo.

Gordon YoungWho will be teaching?

Gordon Young is a professional ethicist. As Principal of Ethilogical Consulting, he works with businesses, universities, and other groups to improve decision-making methods and accountability processes. Learn more at, or attend his other Laneway Learning classes, including the ‘How to Wrestle a Pig’  conflict resolution class.