On 8/18/2013 7:51 PM, chris peck wrote:
Hi Chris

>> Increasingly code is the result of genetic algorithms being run over many
generations of Darwinian selection -- is this programmed code? What human
hand wrote it? At how many removes?

In evolutionary computations the 'programmer' has control over the fitness function which ultimately guides the evolution of algorithms towards a highly specific goal.

Moreover, outside of the IT lab, there is no competition for the algorithm to evolve against nor is there a genuine ecology supplying pressures against which selection can happen. Why? Because that is what the fitness function provides. It is wrong to suppose that genetic algorithms evolve without human input. The human input is as essential to the evolutionary technique as natural selection is to evolution proper. Without it nothing evolves at all.

That's only true within the AI lab. Suppose someone developed a STUXNET type program that was supposed to learn the existence of nuclear programs and disable them, a really intelligent program that could learn and plan. It might very well reason that having lots of copies of itself would be more effective - and once reproduction starts can evolution be far behind?


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