MLAI: Machine Life #3

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Bill DeWitt

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MLAI: Machine Life #3
« on: November 18, 2006, 08:15:41 pm »
3) Procreation - The Agent has the ability to create separate instances of itself and pass along to this new Agent it's memories and successful adaptations.

Strike the second part of this because it is Lamarckism in fact. No form of life we know passes along its memories and evolution requires that new adaptations be created in offspring only. Therefore what it can pass along are its attributes. Now these attributes may include an ability to adapt, but the adaptations themselves are not passed genetically.

But now we come to the central contention that Machine Life must be capable of reproduction. Why? If your #1 works, a robot will repair itself at a speed greater than entropy. If it wanted to, it could make a new robot, but why should it? And if it did, why make a copy of itself? Why not a different type of Robot? Why not a different type of life which is neither Biological nor Mechanical?

#3 is completely unnecessary where it is not false to fact. It exists in biological life to accomplish Numbers 1, 2, and 4, but is not required for machine life in any way.

By now you are probably typing away at a missive which says that an ?Agent? doesn?t need to exhibit each of the ?Elements? to be alive and that within each Element there are shades and degrees of action. Yes, we get that.

But so far, an Agent can miss three out of six completely and still be Alive. Not much of a test when you can pass with an ?Fminus??