Thursday, May 5, 2011

[Yasmin_discussions] art and science: re-drawing boundaries


of the the topics for our discussion on re-drawing boundaries is the topic
of 'bio-metrics' but the post by Jens Hauser on artists work in synthetic
biology reminds us that the new science of synthetic biology is also
re-drawing boundaries between living and non living systems

twenty years ago artists starting exploring the new technologies
of artificial life, fifteen years ago artists started investing genetic
engineering as field for artistic exploration, and synthetic biology
is a third area that is just opening to artists=

in a parrallel development the area of 'physical intelligence' is
being approached
by nano scientists:

The Physical Intelligence program aspires to understand intelligence
as a physical phenomenon
and to make the first demonstration of the principle in electronic
and chemical systems.

What is human nature ? our concepts of human and group identify are central to
many of the boundaries and frontiers we set up in our societies.

With biometrics, we have new biological ways of identifying a person ( the
decision of the us governement not to realise photographs of Ben Laden
after capture- but instead stating that the DNA analysis proved his identity
is one recent example). The nineteenth century developed in forensics
photography as a key biometic= now photos can be manipulated too easily,
so DNA typing of identity is replacing photo identification.( and new forms
of trangressing boundaries are emerging).

With the work in synthetic biology, artificial life, genetic engineering
and physical intelligence, new ideas of what defines a living system
( and beyond this individual species) are emerging and these are
re-drawing many boundaries.

the Turing test seemed to be a reliable test to distinguish human
from artificial intelligence. This many not be the case much longer !

Roger Malina

here is some more on physical intelligence research:

A central tenet is that intelligence spontaneously evolves as a
consequence of thermodynamics in open systems.
The program plan is organized around three interrelated task areas:
(1) creating a theory (a mathematical formalism)
and validating it in natural and engineered systems; (2) building the
first human-engineered systems that display
physical intelligence in the form of abiotic, self-organizing
electronic and chemical systems; and (3) developing
analytical tools to support the design and understanding of physically
intelligent systems. If successful, the program
would launch a revolution of understanding across many fields of
human endeavor, demonstrate the first intelligence
engineered from first principles, create new classes of electronic,
computational, and chemical systems, and create
tools to engineer intelligent systems that match the
problem/environment in which they will exist. Concepts relevant
to the objectives of the Physical Intelligence program can be found
in numerous disciplines and areas of research
including statistical physics, non-equilibrium thermodynamics,
dissipative systems, group theory, collective behavior
, complexity theory, consciousness theory, non-linear dynamical
systems, complex adaptive systems, systems analysis,
multi-scale modeling, control systems, information theory,
computation theory, topology, electronics, evolutionary
computation, cellular automata, artificial life, origin of life,
microbiology, evolutionary biology, evolutionary chemistry,
neuropsychology, neurophysiology, brain modeling, organizational
behavior, operations research and others.

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