Rapper-singer M.I.A. is certainly no stranger to controversy. In March of this year she was slapped with a $16.6 million lawsuit by the NFL after “flipping the bird” to the camera during her live half-time performance at Super Bowl XLVIII. This time, however, she’s directing the controversy in an important and somewhat disturbing direction; the possible use of 3D printers to make real, working guns… at home.
3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object out of virtually any shape from a digital model. It’s currently being used for a variety of beneficial reasons including the manufacturing of affordable housing for underprivileged families. But in her new video for the single “Double Bubble Trouble,” M.I.A. envisions a future when such technology can be utilized to create weapons by anyone with the means to purchase one.
While this idea may seem like science fiction, it actually represents a real concern. The scientific community holds that 3D printing represents a new frontier of prosperity and longevity for the human race, perhaps even combining with medical research to produce human organs suitable for transplant. Humans are an enigma, however, often tainting things meant for a higher purpose and transforming them into instruments of destruction. What will the future hold for 3D printing? Let’s hope M.I.A.’s vision stays relegated to the realm of sci-fi.