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Artificial Life

Presented by:
Tejesh Kumar N
Presentation Outline
 What is life?
 What is Artificial Life?
 Goals of Artificial Life
 History and pre-contributions
 Open problems in Artificial Life
 Computer viruses as Artificial Life
 Von neumann probe
 Current Research
 Artificial Life v/s Artificial Intelligence
 Applications
 Future ??
 Bibliography
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What is Life?
Is this Life????

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What is Life?

………..Or is this life??????

Or

Being famous…… Being notorious……


What is Life?
Oxford: State of functional activity and
continual change peculiar to animals and
plants before death, animate existence.

 Webster’s: The quality that distinguishes a


vital and functioning being from a dead body;
an organismic state characterized by capacity
for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli,
and reproduction.
 Levy: A continuum, not binary values
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Properties associated with life
 Self-reproduction, in itself or in a related organism.
 Information storage of a self-representation.
 A metabolism that converts matter/energy.
 Functional interactions with the environment.
 Interdependence of parts.
 Stability under perturbations of the environment
 Growth or expansion

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What is Artificial Life?
A Perspective:
 It is a way of imitating Nature in order to solve
engineering problems.
 It includes simulation and emulation of living
systems like plants, insect, or animals.
 It tries to achieve a new understanding of living
systems, and of what is life.

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What is Artificial Life?
A Definition:

Artificial life is a field of study devoted to


understanding life by attempting to abstract the
fundamental dynamical principals underlying
biological phenomena, and recreating these
dynamics in other physical media – such as
computers – making them accessible to new kinds
of experimental manipulation and testing.

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Artificial life-properties
 Ability to learn

 Ability to evolve

 Reproduction

 Emergence ( result > sum of parts )

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Goals of ALife
 Help in study of biological phenomena
 Help solve computational problems
 Study life in the computer, not in nature or
laboratory
 Increase our understanding of nature
 Create self-reproducing machines
 Achieve intelligence in machines

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History and pre-contributions
 One of the earliest thinkers of the modern age
to postulate the potentials of artificial life,
separate from artificial intelligence, was math
and computer prodigy John Von Neumann.

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History and pre-contributions
 Christopher Langton was an unconventional
researcher. He succeeded in creating the first
self-replicating computer organism in October
of 1979, using only an Apple II desktop
computer.

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Open problems of Artificial Life

 "What is life?"
 "When can we say that a system, or a subsystem, is alive?"
 "What is the smallest system that we can consider alive?"
 "Why is nature able to achieve an open-ended evolutionary
system, while all human models seem to fall short of it?"
 "How can we measure evolution?"
 "How can we measure emergence?"
 "How does simulation change the frontiers of science?" "What
kind of legal rights should artificial life have?"

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Computer viruses as Artificial Life

 Self-reproduction of viruses
One of the primary characteristics of
computer viruses is their ability to reproduce
themselves (or an altered version of
themselves). Thus, this characteristic seems
to be met. One of the key characteristics is
their ability to reproduce.
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Computer viruses as Artificial Life
 Virus metabolism

This property involves the organism taking


in energy or matter from the environment and using
it for its own activity. Computer viruses use the
energy of computation expended by the system to
execute. They do not convert matter, but make use
of the electrical energy present in the computer to
traverse their patterns of instructions and infect
other programs

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Computer viruses as Artificial Life
 Functional interactions with the virus’s
environment
Viruses perform examinations of their
host environments as part of their activities.
They alter interrupts, examine memory and
disk architectures, and alter addresses to hide
themselves and spread to other hosts. They
very obviously alter their environment to
support their existence.
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Computer viruses as Artificial Life

 Interdependence of virus parts


Living organisms cannot be
arbitrarily divided without destroying them.
The same is true of computer viruses. Should
a computer virus have a portion of its
“anatomy” excised, the virus 17 would
probably cease to function normally.
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Computer viruses as Artificial Life

 Virus stability under perturbations


Computer viruses run on a variety of
machines under different operating systems.
Many of them are able to compromise (and
defeat) anti-virus and copy protection
mechanisms.

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Computer viruses as Artificial Life
 Growth

Viruses certainly do exhibit a form of


growth, the spread of viruses through
commercial software and public bulletin
boards is another indication of their wide-
spread replication.

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Von neumann probe

 Von Neumann rigorously studied the concept of


self-replicating machines that he called "Universal
Assemblers" - and which are most often referred to as
von Neumann machines. While von Neumann never
applied his work to the idea of spacecraft,
theoreticians since then have done so. The idea of
self-replicating spacecraft has been applied - in theory
- to several distinct "tasks", and the particular variant
of this idea applied to the idea of space exploration is
known as a von Neumann probe. Other variants
include the Berserker and an automated seeder ship.

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Von neumann probe

 Self-replicating spacecraft
In theory, a self-replicating spacecraft
could be sent to a neighbouring star-system, where it
would seek out raw materials (extracted from
asteroids, moons, gas giants, etc.) to create replicas of
itself. These replicas would then be sent out to other
star systems, repeating the process in an
exponentially increasing pattern. The original
"parent" probe could then pursue its primary purpose
within the star system.
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Artificial Life v/s Artificial
Intelligence
Artificial
Artificial Life Intelligence

• Concept : Late 1980s • Concept : 1960s

• Grounded in Biology, Physics, • Pursued primarily in Comp. Sci,


Engineering &Psychology.
Chemistry, Mathematics.

• Studies Intelligence as part • Studies Intelligent behavior


in isolation.
of Life itself.

• Views life-as-it-could-be • Views life-as-it-is

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Current Research
 Boids – studying the flocking nature of birds
and schools of fish.
 Floys - artificial organisms that are given
certain properties and then allowed to “live”
within a controlled environment or simulation.
 Genetic algorithms and fractals that work on
solving mathematical problems.

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Applications

 Information

With the information age we are


bombarded with staggering amounts of data. The
process of filtering out data that is useful
information is a very time consuming practice and
not one that conventional programs can do
extremely well. With artificial life software, the
work can be done to a great extent by the program,
in dynamic, efficient new ways.
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Applications
 The Military

The military naturally will want to use the


most cutting edge, advanced technology available to
enable it to kill better than the enemy. Neural
networks have been developed that identify photos of
tanks as either American or Soviet. Through a process
of identifying series' of photos and learning from its
mistakes, systems have been developed that can
identify whether a tank is American or Soviet from a
photograph
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Applications
 Space Exploration

Using robots like the ones created by


Rodney Brooks, unmanned space missions to
other planets and moons in our own galaxy, or
even other galaxies, will be able to explore
alien worlds

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Applications
 Biology

By simulating life in a simplified way, biologists


can study the behavior of simple life giving clues and
insight into the motivation and behavior of real life.
The striking similarities and differences of artificial
life can enable scientists to better understand
microorganisms, diseases, viruses, even ourselves.

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Future???
Bionic man

? Intelligent
systems

Artificial life

evolution
Homo Sapiens Us After us ?
Homo Erectus

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Bibliography
 www.alife.org
 Artificial life-Wikipedia,the free encyclopedia.htm
 www.santafe.edu
 www.wisegeek.com
 www.zooland.com
 Artificial Life:An overview by Christopher G
Langton
 Artificial Life:The Quest for a new creation by
Steven Levy
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Questions

????
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Thank you