Re: Computers that improve themselves

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Sun Apr 22 2001 - 11:11:07 MDT

Yes evolving stuff in general can do some cool stuff, but it's a real
pain to debug. The scientist in this article still hasn't figured out
how his new chip layout even works... I would not want to be flying in
a spaceship or some other kind of critical system that relied on such
opaque chip designs. If it has evolved to work best in the lab conditions,
what happens when it gets hit with some external radiation?

In other words, I think using evolutionary techniques to discover new
possibilities in technology is a great thing, but the new possibilities
should be thoroughly understood and then incorporated into a human-designed
final product. Using a raw evolution-derived piece of technology without
completely understanding how it works is a recipe for disaster IMO.

Joaquim Almgren Gāndara wrote:
> Here's a rather interesting article. A snippet:
> "A computer that evolves may redesign itself in such a way that even its
> inventors don't know how it's functioning. They just know that it works
> better than ever before, and future generations may work even better.
> Something like this has already happened in the laboratory of Adrian
> Thompson at the University of Sussex in England. There, at the Center for
> Computational Neuroscience and Robotics, Thompson has spent the past four
> years working with computer chips that mutate. Chips can manipulate their
> own logic gates within nanoseconds, try the new design, and choose the
> configurations that work the best."
> - Joaquim Gāndara
> .

Brian Atkins
Director, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:36 MDT