Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagSelf-replication (information problem)

african-clawed-frog-xenopus-laevis-stockpack-adobe-stock
African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis)

Is the Age of the Living, Self-Replicating Robot at Hand? No.

Stem cells naturally reproduce themselves. The researchers working with frog stem cells merely found, via algorithms, one configuration that works better

Recently, the sci-fi dream of self-replicating robots has been in the news, thanks to the University of Vermont, Tufts University, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard. A recent experiment with frog cells was hailed by news outlets as disparate as CNN (“World’s first living robots can now reproduce, scientists say”) and Daily Wire (“American Universities Create First ‘Self-Replicating Living Robots’”). And it was also debunked by Ars Technica: (“Interesting research, but no, we don’t have living, reproducing robots”). So what’s really happening? Self-replication is a very tricky problem of information. To truly self-replicate, an organism must completely copy the information necessary for function. Seems simple enough but it introduces a conundrum. For the organism to copy…