What Is Nature-Like Computation? A Behavioural Approach and a Notion of Programmability

Philosophy and Technology (3):1-23 (2013)
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Abstract
The aim of this paper is to propose an alternative behavioural definition of computation (and of a computer) based simply on whether a system is capable of reacting to the environment—the input—as reflected in a measure of programmability. This definition is intended to have relevance beyond the realm of digital computers, particularly vis-à-vis natural systems. This will be done by using an extension of a phase transition coefficient previously defined in an attempt to characterise the dynamical behaviour of cellular automata and other systems. The transition coefficient measures the sensitivity of a system to external stimuli and will be used to define the susceptibility of a system to be (efficiently) programmed
Keywords Natural computation  Programmability  Compressibility  Philosophy of computation  Turing universality  Cellular automata
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DOI 10.1007/s13347-012-0095-2
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Minds, Brains and Programs.John R. Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
The Method of Levels of Abstraction.Luciano Floridi - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (3):303-329.
Computation Without Representation.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (2):205-241.

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