Sculpture or Artificial Life?

This is one of the coolest things I have seen recently. Found this on the blog “The Four Ages of Sand”. This is very unique approach to creating artificial life. If you watch the entire 8 minute video, you will see he is making brains for these things. This is like a sci fi dream for sure.

Seeing this underscores the idea that life is computation, and computation can be performed in many ways including mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, electrical, electromagnetic, genetic/DNA/molecular, quantum, cosmological, universal, virtual, etc. Essentially anywhere you have some form of energy and a means of managing it there is the possibility of life…software is instructions and hardware is energy management. Because computation is a feature of the universe maybe life is too. So maybe we will eventually find it in some form everywhere we look. It does not matter whether we look in outerspace, innerspace, or cyberspace. Add to this our expanding view of what intelligence is and how it emerges from complexity, and the universe almost seems understandable.

By the way, “The Four Ages of Sand” is a thought provoking speech by the one and only Douglas Adams. You can find it here: www.douglasadams.se

© Copyright 2009 Keith Sherwood


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  1. * Cassie says:

    That is cool! So strange though. It’s cool that there are people out there thinking about things like this. Have you read “I am a strange loop?” The author talks about what has a soul? Or what has intelligence. Does a toilet have a soul/brain because it knows to flush until the water comes back up in the back? Are things extra intelligent when they learn to recreate themselves? As for humans, we not only reproduce ourselves, but also weird things like these “animals”. Thanks for sharing it. Very cool.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 1 month ago
  2. * leverpoint says:


    I actually have that book right here. It’s nice to see other people read this stuff 🙂

    Hofstadter’s first book GEB has always been on my bookshelf, and I recently have added a couple of books by Marvin Minsky. His Society of Mind is really cool if you like thinking about intelligence and mind structures.

    Glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for leaving a comment.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 1 month ago

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