Mitchell, M.

This paper argues for the possibility of 'artificial life' and computational evolution, first by discussing (via a highly simplified version) John von Neumann's self-reproducing automaton and then by presenting some recent work focusing on computational evolution, in which 'cellular automata', a form of parallel and decentralized computing system, are evolved via 'genetic algorithms'. It is argued that such in silico experiments can help to make sense of the question of whether we can eventually build computers that are intelligent and alive.