Discussion papers

CPM-97-14 - 6 January 1997

The Possible Irreducibility of Artificial Software Life

Bruce Edmonds


I argue that the characterisation of reducability as computability is too weak to be credible. I propose an improved version “intentional computability” and show that it is indeed a stronger criteria, in that there may be specifications for which there exist programs but where there is no systematic way to build such a program from the specification. This undermines the assumption that just because software life would run on a computer that it must be reducible to a computer program as the result of an intentional plan. This, in turn, opens the way to the possiblity that an intentionally irreducible program might arise (e.g. by evolution).

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