David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethics and Information Technology 7 (3):139-148 (2005)
Artificial Life (ALife) has two goals. One attempts to describe fundamental qualities of living systems through agent based computer models. And the second studies whether or not we can artificially create living things in computational mediums that can be realized either, virtually in software, or through biotechnology. The study of ALife has recently branched into two further subdivisions, one is “dry” ALife, which is the study of living systems “in silico” through the use of computer simulations, and the other is “wet” ALife that uses biological material to realize what has only been simulated on computers, effectively wet ALife uses biological material as a kind of computer. This is challenging to the field of computer ethics as it points towards a future in which computer and bioethics might have shared concerns. The emerging studies into wet ALife are likely to provide strong empirical evidence for ALife’s most challenging hypothesis: that life is a certain set of computable functions that can be duplicated in any medium. I believe this will propel ALife into the midst of the mother of all cultural battles that has been gathering around the emergence of biotechnology. Philosophers need to pay close attention to this debate and can serve a vital role in clarifying and resolving the dispute. But even if ALife is merely a computer modeling technique that sheds light on living systems, it still has a number of significant ethical implications such as its use in the modeling of moral and ethical systems, as well as in the creation of artificial moral agents.
|Keywords||artificial life ethical status of artificial agents machine ethics simulating evolutionary ethics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Alexander Riegler (1992). Constructivist Artificial Life, and Beyond. In Barry McMullin (ed.), Proceedings of the workshop on autopoiesis and perception. Dublin City University: Dublin, pp. 121–136.
Brian L. Keeley (1998). Artificial Life for Philosophers. Philosophical Psychology 11 (2):251 – 260.
Liz Stillwaggon Swan (2009). Synthesizing Insight: Artificial Life as Thought Experimentation in Biology. Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):687-701.
Mark Bedau, To Appear in Luciano Floridi, Ed., Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information.
Rodney Brooks (2001). The Relationship Between Matter and Life. Nature 409 (6818):409-411.
Claus Emmeche (forthcoming). Modeling Life: A Note on the Semiotics of Emergence and Computation in Artificial and Natural Living Systems. Biosemiotics: The Semiotic Web 1991.
Deborah G. Johnson & Keith W. Miller (2008). Un-Making Artificial Moral Agents. Ethics and Information Technology 10 (2-3):123-133.
Norman H. Packard & Mark A. Bedau (2003). Artificial Life. In L. Nadel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Nature Publishing Group. 505-512.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads23 ( #74,633 of 1,100,967 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #27,650 of 1,100,967 )
How can I increase my downloads?