We’re scientists who do what most other scientists do: search the globe for gaps in knowledge that we can help close. Our new book, Synthetic Biology: Revolutionizing Our World in the New Era of Artificial Intelligence, argues that we now have the technology to fundamentally change not only human health and nutrition, but the ecosystems of the world.
This is not some pie-in-the-sky new moonshot–it’s already happening with the world’s leading governments lining up to embrace this new era of exponential science. For example, agroecosystem improvement is already underway using precise control of plant genes – without invasive biological agents – that benefit people and the environment. In this way, synthetic biology provides a possible path to reimagining what our food and agriculture systems can be.
Can’t quite get there? No problem. Artificial intelligence and genomics are already at work to reveal new clues about our world in real time. As you read the book you’ll find many similar stories – from extending the shelf life of milk or increasing crop yields to better environmental, human and animal health. And just this week, Amazon and eBay joined the push to make the world safer for the environment by collecting, analyzing and revealing thousands of online classified ads – advertisements for both good and bad – and then using artificial intelligence to analyze them, helping to stop the worst of these from happening.
Many people think artificial intelligence is here and now, but it was only a few years ago that people even talked about biotechnology as a potentially novel application of machine learning. Now, however, A.I. and biotechnology have finally coalesced into a single “synthetic biology” space. That’s good news for humanity, as it points to a future that is both cleaner and more connected than ever before.
Understanding these leaps forward in basic science and technology from this point forward is the greatest challenge and is the real gift of this new book.
Read our full series of books interviews at the Full Stir Arts and Ideas Festival in London