Rapper, tech entrepreneur, and human URL Will.i.am says the world will need new "codes and morals" to deal with the ethical implications of 3D-printed humans. "If you can print a liver or a kidney, god dang it, you're going to be able to print a whole freaking person," said the Black Eyed Peas founder in an interview with Dezeen. "Now we're getting into a whole new territory. 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."
in 10 years' time we might be able to 3d print human tissue
Will.i.am says he believes that the technology to 3D print humans will be available in "our lifetime," adding: "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." Although some scientists have speculated that in 10 years' time we may be able to 3D print small pieces of human tissue, there's no clear path from this point to creating fully functional organs. Numerous difficulties (such as manufacturing working blood vessels) stand in the way, and the process of 3D printing whole bodies — let alone conscious humans — is just speculation.
In the same interview, Will.i.am pondered whether 3D printing could lead to Star Trek-style teleportation, with objects destroyed at one end and created at the other. "You're starting with beef, and leathers, and body parts. Eventually it will get more complex," he said. "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." Whether or not Star Trek's teleporters function in this way is a topic of debate among fans, but even Kirk and Spock never had to deal with 3D-printed humans.