Facebook PixelA semi-interactive model of John Conway's 1970 game of life designed to follow the laws of unintended consequence
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A semi-interactive model of John Conway's 1970 game of life designed to follow the laws of unintended consequence

Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice Mar 07, 2022
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Using the classic game of life framework but introducing 'chaos agents' in the form of rules that are one order of magnitude higher in complexity than the normal rules. These will be consequences. each run can hold up to 4 'consequences' all kept secret from the player. An objective is provided and the game begins.
  • I think it could be used to gauge the recovery period of autonomous systems, to answer the question of how long it would take an AI to recover once an external input interferes with its calculations
  • Fun mental gymnastics for people of all ages
  • If you could teach a system to adapt to random occurrences as well as learn from them you could really expand on the uses of such a system.
  • There is research on making adaptaptable robots , this is a great way to test software to that end.
How it works.
The primary rules are the same as the classic game
  1. Any live cell with two or three live neighbours survives.
  2. Any dead cell with three live neighbours becomes a live cell.
  3. All other live cells die in the next generation. Similarly, all other dead cells stay dead.

with that we can get to the types of unintended consequenses , It's a long read but really interesting. For this situation i'll use the perverse effect as an example of how it would turn out.
The game allows you to add cells to the board but only at the edge and only one at a time. A Separate counter randomly chooses a consequence. A consequense in this case would be If the cells form a " loaf" it is converted immediately into a "toad". If the objective was to create a T shaped structure that consequence would kick start a series of actions that would end up taking you further away from the goal.
Using an autonomousous system, adaptability could be measured by how long it took the system to recalibrate and get to the intended goal.
The consequenses can be anything you want, you have absolute liberty to choose how complex the consequence is or how many generations it carries foward into. The fact that the singular change has the potential to completely rearrange the entire board is very interesting. Can an autononomous system keep up with change if it knows the rules the change follows?
Being able to plan for things that can't be planned for is a characteristic unique to satient beings, this has the posibility of being the foundation for such a characteristic being artificially developed.



[3]Gardner, Martin (October 1970). "The fantastic combinations of John Conway's new solitaire game 'life'" . Mathematical Games. Scientific American. Vol. 223, no. 4. pp. 120–123. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1070-120. JSTOR 24927642.

[4] Paul Rendell (January 12, 2005). "A Turing Machine in Conway's Game of Life". Retrieved July 12, 2009.


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