word exponential refers to the rapid pace -- probably unprecedented -- at
which this technology
may be deployed. A compact automated molecular
will be able to make more manufacturing systems.
We're talking about factories that can build duplicate factories -- and
probably do it in less than a single day. The math is simple: if one factory
makes two, and two factories make four, then within ten days you could have
one thousand factories, in ten more days a million factories, and ten days
after that a billion factories. Within the span of just a few weeks, in
theory, every household in the world could have one of their own, to make
most of the products they need, at just the cost of raw materials.
Exponential general-purpose molecular
manufacturing means a manufacturing system
capable of making a wide range of technologically advanced products, far superior to what we have today, much cheaper, much
faster, and able to multiply its own source of production exponentially. From
Responsible Nanotechnology. See Unanswered Questions,
Part 1 for details and comments.