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iConcept Journal of Human-Level Intelligence
iConcept Journal of Human-Level Intelligence
David Chik, Jitesh Dundas and Pei Wang
iConcept Press

iConcept Journal of Human-Level Intelligence

On the Liveliness of Artificial Life

by Yong Zher Koh and Maurice H. T. Ling

Volume: 3 (2013); Issue: 1


There has been on-going philosophical debate on whether artificial life models, also known as digital organisms, are truly alive. The main difficulty appears to be finding an encompassing and definite definition of life. By examining similarities and differences in recent definitions of life, we define life as “any system with a boundary to confine the system within a definite volume and protect the system from external effects, consisting of a program that is capable of improvisation, able to react and adapt to the environment, able to regenerate parts of itself or its entirety, with energy system comprises of non-interference sets of secluded reactions for self-sustenance, is considered alive or a living system. Any incomplete system containing a program and can be re-assembled into a living system; thereby, converting the re-assembled system for the purpose of the incomplete system, are also considered alive.” Using this defini-tion, we argue that digital organisms may not be the boundary case of life even though some digital organisms are not considered alive; thereby, taking the view that some form of digital organisms can be considered alive. In addition, we present an experimental framework based on continuity of the overall system and potential discontinuity of elements within the system for testing future definitions of life.

Author Details

Yong Zher Koh
School of Biological Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, Singapore
Maurice H. T. Ling
Department of Zoology, The University of Melbourne, Australia

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