Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id OAA27454 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Fri, 15 Jun 2001 14:55:10 +0100 From: Philip Jonkers <P.A.E.Jonkers@phys.rug.nl> X-Authentication-Warning: rugth1.phys.rug.nl: www-data set sender to jonkers@localhost using -f To: email@example.com Subject: A brand new replicator in the making? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 15:51:44 +0200 (CEST) References: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3101745EF6@inchna.stir.ac.uk > <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <3B2A1005.CE418994@bioinf.man.ac.uk> In-Reply-To: <3B2A1005.CE418994@bioinf.man.ac.uk> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit User-Agent: IMP/PHP IMAP webmail program 2.2.5 X-Originating-IP: 188.8.131.52 Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Has anybody from this group already ponder the question:
Is there a new, third, kind of replicator in the making?
Well, I contend it will be one with an electronic origin.
The new replicator will emerge as soon as the new generation of computers
- based on neural networks - gain sufficient grounds to start spawning
their own self-sufficient software-programs, the primary goal of artificial
intelligence as far as I know. Unlike memes and genes which are only
approximately independent of each other (I like to call this,
quasi-independent), this replicator will have a truly independent character.
Analogous to the meme's eye view of memes `struggling' with fellow memes
to be adopted by brains, in this new breed of replicators
auto-generated programs will compete with other programs
of similar functionality to acquire residence within computer
It is not that hard to show that AI programs easily qualify to be
replicators. To do this the new replicator must satisfy the basic criteria
of Universal Darwinism: heredity, variability and selection.
For brevity's sake, I will refer to the third replicator simply
as the `thene' to carry the notion of a third replicator and to honour
our beloved first replicator, the `gene'. Through the near perfect
robust storage facility inherent of computers, thenes satisfy sufficient
heredity. Thenes also feature variability as they can easily be modified
by the then automated process of reprogramming existing versions of
thenes (quite analogous to the formative process of ever more new versions
of existing human-programmed software, such as is testified by the sorry
series of Windows: 95,98,2000). Selective competitive pressures also come
naturally since the number of hosts to accommodate thenes typically are
much lower in number than the number of competing thenes. Thenes thus have to
compete with other memes for adoption.
So does AI-technology promise a brand new breed of replicators, or
did I make a glaring error in my line of argument?
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