Contract evolution and emergent behaviours

StephanTualStephanTual London, EnglandMember, Moderator Posts: 1,282 mod
Amazed this hasn't be brought up yet, so I'll do the honors:

If contracts can copy themselves, can self-modify, and communicate with each other, then it appears theoretically possible to envisage a model by which they could 'evolve' (similar to some of the theories advanced by Kevin Warwick for example).

Furthermore, this seems to clear the path for emergent behaviors.

What do you think are the limits? The geek in me quite likes the idea of the emergence of a collective intelligence (, especially as we're already talking about integrating sensor data via data feeds, internet of things, etc.


  • splizmosplizmo Member Posts: 12
    I've been thinking about this as well. I might try to deploy some sort of self replicating contracts.

    I wonder if the contracts could act as nodes in some large neural network. The information flowing through nodes would be slow I would guess but might be cool. Some interesting things to think about surely.

  • pruferprufer Member Posts: 1
    Artificial neural networks are essentially gigantic linear algebra systems. So if contract X can take as input, some linear combination of outputs of previous contracts, and then pass that linear combination into some activation function f(t), and spit that crap out as an output? Yeah, that contract X is a node in an artificial neural network.

    Real challenge? Simulating a biological neuron with contracts.
  • vethervether Member Posts: 21
    Someone should call Sarah Connor NOW!
  • quantumcashquantumcash Member Posts: 12
    Hungry contracts that need ether leads to ether being more valuable.
  • cyberfaxcyberfax Member Posts: 11 ✭✭
    Genetic algorithms where the fitness function involves which contracts earn the most money could be interesting.
  • ctindallctindall Member Posts: 18
    This is getting a little science fiction-y, but I can see a future where something like what cyberfax imagines are able to earn money much more efficiently than human-managed corporations at certain tasks, though they will obviously need to hire humans to perform some functions. If this type of corporation become the dominant way that capital is managed, we could see a day where we can have all the benefits of capitalism, but without capitalists. All of our white guys with top hats and monocles could be replaced with smart contracts.

    It is left as an exercise for the reader to detemine if this is a utopian or dystopian future.
  • Karl_SchroederKarl_Schroeder Member Posts: 37 ✭✭
    I've written about AIs that identify themselves with/as physical objects ("I am the mighty Brick!"). I went the whole disembodied internet based AI route back in the nineties, when everybody was doing cyberpunk. Then I realized that the much more interesting question was one of embodiment: AIs that identify their "body" as something other than a human or a machine. Currently (as mentioned in my thread on deodands) I'm kinda obsessed with the idea of natural systems that are coupled to AIs which identify with them.

    If you go the other way, to disembodied economic actors, you get what Charlie Stross called "Economics 2.0" in his novel Accelerando. This is NOT a nice place to be; my name for it is Artificial Nature, and it can certainly be nature red in tooth and claw as far as we're concerned. This potential for havoc wreaked by self-interested disembodied AIs is one reason why I'm interested in AI that's embodied in/as natural systems: there's much more potential for win/win scenarios when ecosystem components partner. (I hope.)
  • StephanTualStephanTual London, EnglandMember, Moderator Posts: 1,282 mod
    @Karl_Schroeder I'm actually genuinely impressed to have you on our little forums :)
    Thank you for visiting!!!
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