August 03, 2009

I for one welcome our new glider overlords

Game of Life IA universal computer/constructor has been created for Conway's Game of life. Adam P. Goucher managed to devise an implementation with 8 registers that can that can store any positive integer, separate program, data and marker tapes, and a construction arm that can make anything that can be constructed by a short salvo of gliders - and since the computer is made of objects known to be constructable, it is likely that it could (with the right program) become a replicator. It might be a bit slow: Goucher estimates that it would take up to 1018 generations to reproduce.

To be strict, it may not be a true universal constructor (which can make all constructible objects; since there are orphans we know there are non-constructible patterns) since there may be some limit to what objects a glider synthesis can build. But for the "practical" purposes here it is good enough. Still, it would be interesting to investigate what the set of glider-orphans contains.

Posted by Anders3 at August 3, 2009 11:39 AM