Artificial Life

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

The term artificial life arose in the late 1980s as a descriptor of a range of (mostly) computer-based research practices that sought alternatives to conventional artificial intelligence (henceforth AI) methods as a source of (quasi-)intelligent behavior in technological systems and artifacts (see artificial intelligence). These practices included reactive and bottom-up robotics; computational systems that simulated evolutionary and genetic processes as well as animal behavior; and a range of other research programs informed by biology and complexity theory. A general goal was to capture, harness, or simulate the generative and “emergent” qualities of “nature”— of evolution, coevolution, and adaptation.

Biological and ecological metaphors were the stock-in-trade of cybernetics, along with concepts of feedback, homeostasis, and the notion of a “system.” British neurologist Ross Ashby coined the term “self-organising system” in 1947, an idea grouped in the early cybernetic literature with “adaptive,” “purposive,” and “teleological” systems. The term selforganization refers to processes where global patterns arise from multiple or iterated interactions in lower levels of a system. Canonical examples are the organization of social insects and the emergence of mind from neural processes. As a metadiscipline, cybernetics wielded significant fi infl fluence in the 1960s, in biology (systems ecology), sociology (Luhmann 1995), business management (Beer 1959), and the arts (Burnham 1968).
(Johns Hopkins University Press)

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Sumeya Hassan