That’s physicist Michio Kaku talking about the upsides, downsides, insides and outsides of having a replicator like on Star Trek to make anything we’d ever need or want. It’s a compelling vision and he’s right that its implications go far beyond the economic to include cultural, social, even psychological. Kaku says it’s possible to make such a device and suggests we’ll have it in 100 years.
I say we’ll have it in 20.
A longtime friend of mine has significant pieces of a replicator functioning in his lab right now. He’s no mad scientist but a respected engineer who is known for his broad technical interests. Right now he can’t make you a mug of Earl Grey (hot), but he can lay down in nanoseconds trillions of atoms of any abundant element, placing those atoms not just in perfect rows, but also placing them in intricate patterns with other atoms to create familiar combinations as well as new materials the world has never seen before.