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The Allure of Machinic LifeCybernetics, Artificial Life, and the New AI$
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John Johnston

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262101264

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262101264.001.0001

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Vital Cells: Cellular Automata, Artificial Life, Autopoiesis

Vital Cells: Cellular Automata, Artificial Life, Autopoiesis

(p.165) 4 Vital Cells: Cellular Automata, Artificial Life, Autopoiesis
The Allure of Machinic Life

John Johnston

The MIT Press

This chapter examines John von Neumann’s theory of self-reproducing automata and Christopher Langton’s self-reproducing digital loops. Langton’s theory of artificial life (ALife) as a new science based on computer simulations whose theoretical underpinnings combine information theory with dynamical systems theory is contrasted with Francisco Varela and Humberto Maturana’s theory of autopoiesis, which leads to a consideration of both natural and artificial immune systems and computer viruses.

Keywords:   John von Neumann, of self-reproducing automata, Christopher Langton, digital loops, Francisco Varela, Humberto Maturana, immune systems, computer viruses

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