Hypothetical Technology

A hypothetical technology is a technology that does not exist yet, but the development of which could potentially be achieved in the future.[] It is distinct from an emerging technology, which has achieved some developmental success.[] A hypothetical technology is typically not proven to be impossible.[] Many hypothetical technologies have been the subject of science fiction.


Artificial general intelligence

Artificial general intelligence (AGI) - hypothetical artificial intelligence that demonstrates human-like intelligence - the intelligence of a machine that could successfully perform any intellectual task that a human being can. It is a primary goal of artificial intelligence research and an important topic for science fiction writers and futurists. Artificial general intelligence is also referred to as strong AI,[1]full AI[2] or as the ability to perform "general intelligent action".[3] AGI is associated with traits such as consciousness, sentience, sapience, and self-awareness observed in living beings.

HIV vaccine

An HIV vaccine is a hypothetical vaccine which would either protect individuals who do not have HIV from contracting that virus, or otherwise may have a therapeutic effect for persons who have or later contract HIV/AIDS. Currently, there is no effective HIV vaccine but many research projects managing clinical trials seek to create one. There is evidence that a vaccine may be possible. Work with monoclonal antibodies (MAb) has shown or proven that the human body can defend itself against HIV, and certain individuals remain asymptomatic for decades after HIV infection. Potential candidates for antibodies and early stage results from clinical trials have been announced.

Malaria vaccine

Malaria vaccines are an area of intensive research, in an effort to cure the disease caused by parasitic protozoans (a type of unicellular microorganism) of the genus Plasmodium. Emergence of artemisinin and multi-drug resistant strains of especially P. falciparum are driving research. Current approaches are focussing on recombinant protein and attenuated whole organism vaccines. Various vaccines have reached the state of clinical trials; most demonstrated insufficient immunogenicity. There is no practical or effective vaccine that has been introduced into clinical practice.

Mind uploading

Whole brain emulation (WBE) or mind uploading (sometimes called mind copying or mind transfer) is the hypothetical process of copying mental content (including long-term memory and "self") from a particular brain substrate and copying it to another computational device, such as a digital, analog, quantum-based or software based artificial neural network. The computational device could then run a simulation model of the brain information processing, such that it responds in essentially the same way as the original brain (i.e., indistinguishable from the brain for all relevant purposes) and experiences having a conscious mind.[4][5][6]

Mind uploading may potentially be accomplished by either of two methods: Copy-and-Transfer or Gradual Replacement of neurons. In the case of the former method, mind uploading would be achieved by scanning and mapping the salient features of a biological brain, and then by copying, transferring, and storing that information state into a computer system or another computational device.[7][8][9][10][11] The simulated mind could be within a virtual reality or simulated world, supported by an anatomic 3D body simulation model. Alternatively, the simulated mind could reside in a computer that's inside (or connected to) a humanoid robot or a biological body.[12]

Space elevator

A space elevator is a proposed type of space transportation system.[13] Its main component is a ribbon-like cable (also called a tether) anchored to the surface and extending into space. It is designed to permit vehicle transport along the cable from a planetary surface, such as the Earth's, directly into space or orbit, without the use of large rockets. An Earth-based space elevator would consist of a cable with one end attached to the surface near the equator and the other end in space beyond geostationary orbit (35,800 km altitude). The competing forces of gravity, which is stronger at the lower end, and the outward/upward centrifugal force, which is stronger at the upper end, would result in the cable being held up, under tension, and stationary over a single position on Earth. Once deployed, the tether would be ascended repeatedly by mechanical means to orbit, and descended to return to the surface from orbit.[14]

On Earth, with its relatively strong gravity, current technology is not capable of manufacturing tether materials that are sufficiently strong and light to build a space elevator. However, recent concepts for a space elevator are notable for their plans to use carbon nanotube or boron nitride nanotube based materials as the tensile element in the tether design.

See also


  1. ^ (Kurzweil 2005, p. 260) or see Advanced Human Intelligence where he defines strong AI as "machine intelligence with the full range of human intelligence."
  2. ^ The Age of Artificial Intelligence: George John at TEDxLondonBusinessSchool 2013
  3. ^ Newell & Simon 1976. This the term they use for "human-level" intelligence in the physical symbol system hypothesis.
  4. ^ http://www.sim.me.uk/neural/JournalArticles/Bamford2012IJMC.pdf
  5. ^ http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/pdf/10.1142/S1793843012020015
  6. ^ http://kajsotala.fi/Papers/CoalescingMinds.pdf
  7. ^ http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/pdf/10.1142/S179384301240001X
  8. ^ http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/danaher20130101
  9. ^ http://ieet.org/index.php/tpwiki/uploading
  10. ^ http://www.nanomedicine.com/Papers/NanoroboticBrainMonitoring2012.pdf
  11. ^ http://www.brainpreservation.org/sites/default/files/ElectronImagingTechnologyForWholeBrainNeuralCircuitMapping_Hayworth2012.pdf
  12. ^ Sandberg, Anders; Boström, Nick (2008). Whole Brain Emulation: A Roadmap (PDF). Technical Report #2008-3. Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University. Retrieved 2009. The basic idea is to take a particular brain, scan its structure in detail, and construct a software model of it that is so faithful to the original that, when run on appropriate hardware, it will behave in essentially the same way as the original brain. 
  13. ^ "What is a Space Elevator?". www.isec.org. April 11, 2012. 
  14. ^ Edwards, Bradley Carl. The NIAC Space Elevator Program. NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts

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