Creation: Life and How to Make It

Creation: Life and How to Make It

by Steve Grand
     
 

Working mostly alone, almost single-handedly writing 250,000 lines of computer code, Steve Grand produced Creatures®, a revolutionary computer game that allowed players to create living beings complete with brains, genes, and hormonal systems—creatures that would live and breathe and breed in real time on an ordinary desktop computer. Enormously

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Overview

Working mostly alone, almost single-handedly writing 250,000 lines of computer code, Steve Grand produced Creatures®, a revolutionary computer game that allowed players to create living beings complete with brains, genes, and hormonal systems—creatures that would live and breathe and breed in real time on an ordinary desktop computer. Enormously successful, the game inevitably raises the question: What is artificial life? And in this book—a chance for the devoted fan and the simply curious onlooker to see the world from the perspective of an original philosopher-engineer and intellectual maverick—Steve Grand proposes an answer.

From the composition of the brains and bodies of artificial life forms to the philosophical guidelines and computational frameworks that define them, Creation plumbs the practical, social, and ethical aspects and implications of the state of the art. But more than that, the book gives readers access to the insights Grand acquired in writing Creatures—insights that yield a view of the world that is surprisingly antireductionist, antimaterialist, and (to a degree) antimechanistic, a view that sees matter, life, mind, and society as simply different levels of the same thing. Such a hierarchy, Grand suggests, can be mirrored by an equivalent one that exists inside a parallel universe called cyberspace.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674006546
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
10/30/2001
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.41(w) x 9.52(h) x 0.96(d)

Meet the Author

Steve Grand is co-founder and former director of technology at Creature Labs, a firm based in the United Kingdom. He has written and lectured widely on the topic of artificial life and was nominated by the Sunday Times (of London) as one of "The Brains behind the 21st Century." His latest research objective is to build the world's first conscious machine.

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