Posted by: Olly | October 15, 2006

Computer life

For some reason I have been thinking, as you do, about computer life. Specifically, what form that life would take. Not robotic life, all androids and Terminator, but solely computer based ‘life’; intelligence within a silicon wafer.

Imagine if you had a computer, something like a big old Cray X1e. Say that that computer was able to learn and adapt in a totally organic, Neural Net, Data-from-Star-Trek, kind of way. Then imagine strapping a nuclear power supply to it, along with some sensors for good luck, and catapaulting it in to space, in a massive orbit not to return for a thousand years.

What would it be like upon it’s return ? Physically, it would be the same, assuming it had survived the ravages of time. We could still interface with it on the physical level because it would have no way of changing its own outer self. However, would we, or even it, recognise itself internally ?

I’m not sure what has sparked my brain to think about this. I guess I’m just interested in how a completely artifical intelligence would cope, and evolve, over time, with little or no outside stimulus, and without such facilities as factories or labs with which to physically alter or adapt itself.




  1. I think it would be a better experiment to send a monkey.

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