Bespoke Physics for Living Technology

David H. Ackley
2013 Artificial Life  
In the physics of the natural world, basic tasks of life, such as homeostasis and reproduction, are extremely complex operations, requiring the coordination of billions of atoms even in simple cases. By contrast, artificial living organisms can be implemented in computers using relatively few bits, and copying a data structure is trivial. Of course, the physical overheads of the computers themselves are huge, but since their programmability allows digital "laws of physics" to be tailored like a
more » ... be tailored like a custom suit, deploying living technology atop an engineered computational substrate might be as or more effective than building directly on the natural laws of physics, for a substantial range of desirable purposes. This paper suggests basic criteria and metrics for "bespoke physics" computing architectures, describes one such architecture, and offers data and illustrations of custom living technology competing to reproduce while collaborating on an externally useful computation. * This is an uncorrected author preprint of a paper accepted for publication in Artificial Life, 2013.
doi:10.1162/artl_a_00117 pmid:23889741 fatcat:jh7ryfnjandihl6wuvuq7zpyde