Together with Louis Kauffman, we submitted the following article:
M. Buliga, L.H. Kauffman, Chemlambda, universality and self-multiplication, arXiv:1403.8046
to the ALIFE 14: THE FOURTEENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE SYNTHESIS AND SIMULATION OF LIVING SYSTEMS .
The article abstract is:
We present chemlambda (or the chemical concrete machine), an artificial chemistry with the following properties: (a) is Turing complete, (b) has a model of decentralized, distributed computing associated to it, (c) works at the level of individual (artificial) molecules, subject of reversible, but otherwise deterministic interactions with a small number of enzymes, (d) encodes information in the geometrical structure of the molecules and not in their numbers, (e) all interactions are purely local in space and time.
This is part of a larger project to create computing, artificial chemistry and artificial life in a distributed context, using topological and graphical languages.
Please enjoy the nice text and the 21 figures!
In this post I want to explain in few words what is this larger project, because it is something which is open to anybody to contribute and play with.
We look at the real living world as something ruled by chemistry. Everywhere in the real world there are local chemical interactions, local in space and time. There is no global, absolute, point of view which is needed to give meaning to this alive world. Viruses, bacteria and even prebiotic chemical entities form the scaffold of this world, until very recently, when the intelligent armchair philosophers appeared and invented what they call “semantics”. Before the meaning of objects, there was life.
Likewise, we may imagine a near future where the virtual world of the Internet is seamlessly interlinked with the real world, by means of the Internet of Things and artificial chemistry.
Usually we are presented a future where artificial intelligences and rational machines give expert advices or make decisions based on statistics of real life interactions between us humans or between us and the objects we manipulate. This future is one of gadgets, useful objects and virtual bubbles for the bayesian generic human. Marginally, in this future, we humans, we may chit chat and ask corporations for better gadgets or for more useful objects. This is the future of cloud computing, that is centralized distributed computing.
This future world does not look at all like the real world.
Because the real world is not centralized. Because individual entities which participate in the real world do live individual lives and have individual interactions.
Because we humans want to discuss and interact with others more than we want better gadgets.
We think then about a future of a virtual world based on decentralized computing with an artificial chemistry, a world where individual entities, real or virtual, interact by the means of an artificial chemistry, instead of being baby-sitted by statistically benevolent artificial intelligences.
Moreover, the Internet of Things, the bridge between the real and the virtual world, should be designed as a translation tool between real chemistry and artificial chemistry. Translation of what? Of decentralized purely local computations.
This is the goal of the project, to see if such a future is possible.
It is a fun goal and there is much to learn and play with. It is by no means something which appeared from nowhere, instead it is a natural project, based on lots of bits of past and present research.