On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 08:23:33AM -0400, Roger Clough wrote:
> Hi Russell Standish  
> Life cannot survive without making choices,
> like where to go next. To avoid an enemy. To get food.
> This act of life obviously requires an autonomous choice. 
> Nobody can make it for you.  It can't be pre-programmed.
> Free autonomous choice is a description in my view of intelligence.

The algorithm employed by certain bacteria is to travel in a straight
line if nutrient concentration is below a certain threshold, and to
tumble randomly if the nutrient concentration is above a certain

Why is this effective? Ballistic motion (straight line case) exhibits
<\Delta x> proportional to <\Delta t> (average position change is
proportional to time), so its a good way to somewhere where resources
are more plentiful. By contrast chaotic motion has <\Delta x>
proportional to <sqrt\Delta t>, which means you stick around longer
and hoover up more of the good stuff.

Is this autonomous? You bet. Is it living? Yes - it's bacteria, although
a robot doing the same thing would not necessarily be living. Is it
intelligent? - nup.


Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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