An imaginary DNA computer is used to program molecules to self-assemble algorithmically.
Credit and copyright: Olivier Wyart (website)

A carpet of algorithms: a play in six bits
by Erik Winfree
last edited March 25, 2019
(This is fiction. Any resemblance to real science and real people must be considered as reflections in a broken mirror.)
In the center of the stage is a small pedestal, on which is mounted a small device, which consists of a vial containing a misty liquid, connected by tubes to a small keyboard and a display. The keyboard and display have what look like technical symbols on them. Door at stage left opens, and the Curator enters, followed by a small group of eclectic people: the Tycoon, the Philosopher, the Computer Engineer, the Farmer, the Poet, the Scientist, and the Mathematician.

First Bit

Curator: This room contains our newest acquisition, a DNA computer.
Tycoon: When will it be moved upstairs, to the exhibit?
Curator: I don't know. It might not ever be displayed.
Philosopher: Then why are you showing it to us? Ah, you want to see what we think of it!
Curator: We value the Board's insights. To be honest, we're not sure how much value this acquisition has for the public. It's a somewhat odd item.
Computer Engineer: DNA computers... I've heard of them. They use the massive parallelism of chemistry to solve hard math problems faster than electronic computers can. You see, that little test tube might contain a quadrillion strands of DNA. If each strand carries different information, and a quadrillion molecular machines act on all that information in parallel, then that's a lot of compute power to solve NP-complete problems, crack cryptographic codes, do bitcoin mining...
Farmer: (sniffling, perhaps a bit congested.) Don't kid me. I've been following that line of research. No one has built a DNA computer that solves a problem that can't be solved by hand, with pencil and paper.
Curator: Anyway, this is not that.
Poet: What is it, then?
Curator: This DNA computer allows you to program 6-bit self-assembly algorithms.
Tycoon: And what is that good for?
Curator: Well, the people who built it say it's good for nothing. It's a conversation piece.

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