Virtual Organisms: The Startling World of Artificial Intelligence
by Mark Ward
British Telecom are teaching small packets of software to have sex. Telephone traffic is now so huge that it cannot be run by a single large program, ... Show synopsis British Telecom are teaching small packets of software to have sex. Telephone traffic is now so huge that it cannot be run by a single large program, so BT are experimenting with various species of small "ant" programs which are autonomous and can breed and evolve better offspring by trial, error, and natural selection. The most efficient number of sexes is three, they have discovered. Meanwhile harmless artificial life forms are already loose on the Internet; computer viruses and even robots are now able to evolve randomly like their biological couterparts. Protein-based computers are on the agenda: a team in Japan aim to build an organic brain as clever as a puppy. The convergence of technology with biology has big implications. Artificial life is evolving beyond its designers' control. This book is a "tour d'horizons" of who is developing what artificial life around the world. Mark Ward has interviewed the researchers and developers of artificial life and has some scary predictions for the directions in which they are taking us.