Artificial life: a report from the frontier where computers meet biology

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Vintage Books, 1992 - Computers - 390 pages
10 Reviews
This enthralling book alerts us to nothing less than the existence of new varieties of life. Some of these species can move and eat, see, reproduce, and die. Some behave like birds or ants. One such life form may turn out to be our best weapon in the war against AIDS.

What these species have in common is that they exist inside computers, their DNA is digital, and they have come into being not through God's agency but through the efforts of a generation of scientists who seek to create life in silico.

But even as it introduces us to these brilliant heretics and unravels the intricacies of their work. Artificial Life examines its subject's dizzying philosophical implications: Is a self-replicating computer program any less alive than a flu virus? Are carbon-and-water-based entities merely part of the continuum of living things? And is it possible that one day "a-life" will look back at human beings and dismiss us as an evolutionary way station -- or, worse still, a dead end?

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Review: Artificial Life: A Report from the Frontier Where Computers Meet Biology

User Review  - Phoenix - Goodreads

A fantastic book. Levy's exposition is very clear, and his storytelling is intriguing. I couldn't put it down. Read full review

Review: Artificial Life: A Report from the Frontier Where Computers Meet Biology

User Review  - Brent Werness - Goodreads

This was a very formative book for me on my path to becoming a mathematician. I read it when I was in 4th grade, and it completely boggled my youthful mind. No clue how it holds up now 20 years later, but it gets 5 stars for the memory. Read full review


The creatures cruise silently skimming the surface of their world

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About the author (1992)

Steven Levy is a senior editor for "Newsweek." For ten years he wrote the "Iconoclast" column for "MacWorld" magazine. His previous books include "Hackers" & "Artificial Life.

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