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Life and Evolution in Computers


  • Melanie Mitchell


Can we build computers that are intelligent and alive? This question has been on the minds of computer scientists since the dawn of the computer age and remains a most compelling line of inquiry. Some would argue that the question makes sense only if we put scare quotes around "intelligent" and "alive," since we're talking about computers, after all, not biological organisms. My own view is that the answer is unequivocally yes, no scare quotes or other punctuation needed, but that to get there our notions of life, intelligence, and computation will have to be deepened considerably.

Suggested Citation

  • Melanie Mitchell, 2000. "Life and Evolution in Computers," Working Papers 00-01-001, Santa Fe Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:00-01-001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wim Hordijk & James P. Crutchfield & Melanie Mitchell, 1998. "Mechanisms of Emergent Computation in Cellular Automata," Working Papers 98-04-034, Santa Fe Institute.
    2. James P. Crutchfield & Melanie Mitchell & Rajarshi Das, 1998. "The Evolutionary Design of Collective Computation in Cellular Automata," Working Papers 98-09-080, Santa Fe Institute.
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    Artificial life; genetic algorithms; evolutionary computation; self-reproduction; von Neumann.;

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