The AI nanny is here! In a new feat for science, robots and AI can now be paired to optimise the creation of human life. In a Matrix-esque reality, robotics and artificial intelligence can now help to develop babies with algorithms and artificial wombs.
Reported by South China Morning Post, Chinese scientists in Suzhou have developed the new technology. However, there are worries surrounding the ethics of actually artificially growing human babies.
AI Nanny and Artificial Wombs
China’s Suzhou-based scientists published their findings in a peer-reviewed Journal of Biomedical Engineering. The team explained that the AI nanny could help to grow human babies in a “long-term embryo culture device”.
This artificial womb is a large machine filled with chambers for individual foetuses. When in the chamber, a cocktail of optimised “nutritious fluids” will flood the chamber, feeding the babies as in a real womb.
While the process was once observed by humans, the team created an AI nanny to observe for them. With this in place, the AI would monitor foetuses and “fine-tune the carbon dioxide, nutrition and environmental inputs” better than humans.
In a very eugenics-y addition, the AI program can rank embryos. (Like competitive Pokemon breeding?) Over the course of development, the program will keep record of embryo health and its “developmental potential”.
Reaching the legal bar
Currently, the new technology is being used to help aid the development of animal embryos growing into foetuses. This is because the act of experimenting in human embryos older than two weeks is internationally illegal.
Additionally, as SMCP notes, China bans surrogacy. As artificial wombs would turn a hospital or lab into a mother under Chinese law, the technology isn't likely to be adopted in the region anytime soon.
With the said, the creation of artificial wombs isn't new. However, turning the tech into human mass production and pairing it with ranking AI is a new development, and one that's pretty damn dystopic.
The obvious benefit
Of course, it's not all doomed dystopia. The idea of artificially growing human babies is a very wild concept, but there are benefits. For example, traditionally growing babies inside humans is a long, drawn-out and painful process for anyone who can.
The advent of artificial human growth would allow families who would be at risk during childbirth to have babies. Additionally, the proccss could help gay couples have biological babies. However, there are also thousands of children in foster homes that could be adopted instead. Just something to think about.