Will.I.Am Shares Concerns About 3D Printers Printing People

I have a friend who once interviewed Black Eyed Peas frontman and human clown Will.I.Am, and she swears that he’s a great person who works tirelessly for disadvantaged people. Well, maybe. But even if you take his music out of the equation, Will.I.Am cannot stop doing ridiculous things in public. For instance: Crusading against the idea that 3D printers will eventually print entire human beings. Will is against this, and he’s willing to give an entire interview about the idea.

Will, enough of a futurist that he allowed his hologram self to appear on CNN years ago, recently launched Ekocycle, a line of clothing and luggage made from 3D-printed waste material. But he’s not firmly behind the whole 3D printer thing, and he told Dezeen why:

Dan Howarth: How is 3D printing going to change?

Will.i.am: I’m going to say something controversial. Eventually 3D-printing will print people. That’s scary. I’m not saying I agree with it, I’m just saying what’s fact based on plausible growth in technology and Moore’s law.

So right now we can print in post-consumer plastics, which is awesome. We can print in aluminium, which is bigger machines and awesome. We can print in titanium, which is pretty freaking crazy and amazing. We can print in steel, which is freaking hardcore. You can print in chocolate, and that’s sweet. You can print in freaking protein, you can make freaking meat. You can print leather. You can print a liver.

So if you can print a liver or a kidney. God dang it, you’re going to be able to print a whole freaking person. And that’s scary. That’s when it’s like, whah! And I’m not saying I agree, but plausible growth would say that with multiple machines that print in different materials, you could print in protein an aluminium combo.

Dan Howarth: How far away from that are we?

Will.i.am: Our lifetime. That’s scary. So unfortunately that is the reality, but at the same time it pushes humanity to have to adhere to new responsibilities, new morals. New lessons are going to have to be implemented. For real. Now we’re getting into a whole new territory. I don’t know what year it was, Moses comes down with the 10 commandments and says “Thou shalt not…” He didn’t say shit about 3D printing.

So new morals, new laws and new codes are going to have to be implemented. Humans – as great as we are – are pretty irresponsible. Ask the planet. Ask the environment.

Dan Howarth: So you think we’re going to need a whole set of laws to regulate what we 3D print?

Will.i.am: Morals, ethics, codes. Laws means someone governs. When you have god-like tools, who’s governing me? I don’t know. I could create life. So new codes and morals – beyond laws. Something has to be instilled into us. We’re going to a place we’ve never been before. We made a Will, we made a car, we made a house, we made a boat, we made flying machines. Before, when it was time to reproduce you had to mate. But now…

You’re starting with beef, and leathers, and body parts. Eventually it will get more complex. It’s basically “Beam me up, Scotty”, a 3D printer that disintegrates the source. Star Trek is pretty cool, because they had things like iPhones, and the internet. They also had 3D printers, that was “beam me up, Scotty”. Teleportation.

He’s right, you know. Moses absolutely did not say shit about 3D printing. Will’s facts check out.

Tags: will.i.am