‘So Grow Babies in Labs, Like The Matrix?’: Tweeps Incredulous as Tech Geeks Moot ‘Synthetic Wombs'

© Warner Bros. Village Roadshow Pictures Groucho II Film Partnership Silver Pictures/screenshotThe Matrix. Human batteries
The Matrix. Human batteries - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.01.2022
Earlier, SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who has long nurtured the dream of establishing a self-sustaining 'colony' on Mars by 2026, expressed concerns about a “population collapse”, bemoaning the fact that if there are not enough people for Earth, there certainly won’t be enough for the Red Planet.
A group of rich tech gurus, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and the CEO of the start-up Gumroad, Sahil Lavignia, have raised eyebrows by suggesting creating something that has been likened to 'The Matrix.'
The entrepreneurs suggested using “synthetic wombs” to replace human mothers in a bid to "remove the high burden of pregnancy" after billionaire Elon Musk expressed concerns about a “population collapse”.
The founder of SpaceX, a proponent of the idea of colonising Mars, had erupted in a series of tweets on Tuesday, voicing concerns over a downward trend in birth rates, saying that if there aren’t enough people on Earth, “then there definitely won’t be enough for Mars”.
His remarks had been prompted by a report from the National Center for Health Statistics, which stated that the number of babies born in the US had dropped by 4% in 2020 compared with the previous year. The general fertility rate was 55.8 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, in another record low, according to the provisional data.
An artist's conception of a human Mars base, with a cutaway revealing an interior horticultural area - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.01.2022
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In response to tweets by Musk, New York City-born Indian-American tech entrepreneur Sahil Lavingia, founder and CEO of Gumroad startup, replied that people should be investing in technology that makes childbirth “faster / easier / cheaper / more accessible. Synthetic wombs, etc".
Billionaire founder of cryptocurrency Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, applauded the idea of “synthetic wombs,” sharing a chart exploring the gender wage gap.
However, the remarks sparked confusion online, with many wondering whether the tech brains were touting growing kids like “The Matrix".
Some argued there were easier ways to support mothers.
According to the UN, the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050 and could peak at nearly 11 billion around 2100. However, most that population growth is projected to be in Africa, and the rest of the world's population is projected to start contracting well before the end of the century.
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