|Source: Final version: Olson, E.T. (1997) The Ontological Basis of Strong Artificial Life. Artificial Life, 3 (1). pp. 29-39|
|Paper - Abstract|
- This article concerns the claim that it is possible to create living organisms, not merely models that represent organisms, simply by programming computers ("virtual" strong alife).
- I ask what sort of things these computer-generated organisms are supposed to be (where are they, and what are they made of?). I consider four possible answers to this question:
- (a) The organisms are abstract complexes of pure information;
- (b) they are material objects made of bits of computer hardware;
- (c) they are physical processes going on inside the computer; and
- (d) they are denizens of an entire artificial world, different from our own, that the programmer creates.
- I argue that (a) could not be right, that (c) collapses into (b), and that (d) would make strong alife either absurd or uninteresting.
- Thus, "virtual" strong alife amounts to the claim that, by programming a computer, one can literally bring bits of its hardware to life.
- Olson, E.T. (1997) Computer-Generated Life. Author manuscript available at: [Link (Defunct), Accessed: 6th August 2006].
- Published in final edited form as: Olson, E.T. (1997) The Ontological Basis of Strong Artificial Life. Artificial Life, 3 (1). pp. 29-39
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