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I think your duplicator might be an analog to  extreme productivity gains. Those that we are seeing, in spaces where researchers are deploying narrow ai in their respective fields. Semiconductor design and protein folding are the most recent  breakthroughs i have come across. These developments have improved the performance of a single reacher by an order of magnitude and the discoveries or advancements made from these improvements will most likely be handled by newer narrow ais and the self reinforcing loop starts again. Not duplicators per se but perhaps the start of a very intense cycle of improvement and advancement. Also as the narrow ai tool kit becomes standardized and more accessible it will be deployed across more fields and we are likely to see it as a necessary piece of lab equipment perhaps as ubiquitous as the spreadsheet became in the 90s 2000s.

Agree, I think our near term would be better spent figuring out how to control our climate rather than building warp drives. It would not take too many trip ups and crop fails to send us back to smaller groups hunting gathering,and the loss of Miami and Shanghai et al  will be an additional burden we face . Also lets not forget if we are sent backwards it will be tough to replay the rise of the industrial world now that the surface hydrocarbons have been exhausted, discovering oil with a pickaxe and shovel only happens once.  I'm all for our wild future but I think its best to end these types of predictions with the CYA a la Carl Sagan "if we do not destroy ourselves"