Dale, do you think any of the current artificial life software produce life? If not, is it because you adhere to the current definition of life, or because software objects that 'look kinda like they're living' are qualitatively different from 'real life', other than because they are software objects.To which I responded:
To call current software "life" is to denigrate actual life. To call current software "intelligent" is to denigrate actual intelligence. I do not deny the logical possibility of non-evolved living constructs, nor of differently-materialized intelligences, but these words have urgently real references and one should deviate from the "current definitions," subsuming radically different events under each, only when high standards have been met that haven't yet by a long shot. Evacuating these terms of their substance, especially to facilitate wish-fulfillment fantasies of techno-transcendence, is not rigorous but absolutely frivolous, is not brave but absolutely grasping, is not progressive but absolutely reactionary. Today's champions of software "life" and artificial "intelligence" are mostly dealing in death and facilitating artificial imbecillence in my view.UPDATE: That term of mine, "artificial imbecillence" is described in a related Futurological Brickbat: LXVI. Far from endowing our artifacts with intelligence, we are mistaking for such endowment the process by which we are becoming ever more superficial and uncritical through our mediation and consumption of unintelligent artifacts.