Artificial Life is about bridging the gap between you and the computers that watch everything from which websites you visit to what friends you associate with.
For me the quest to build Artificial Life is one of the most important research and development challenges that technology can accept. Our everyday lives are already forever connected to cognitive computing systems. Systems that mine our personal data, categorise us and ultimately help businesses sell to us and governments plan for us.
It is not science fiction, it is science fact. Computers direct you, remind you, choose your entertainment and even monitor you. The advance of wearable technology isn't going away. What this amounts to is a steady change in the way society thinks, how it behaves and to some extent “what it thinks it can achieve”.
Artificial Life is about bridging the gap between these cyclic and pattern recognising leviathan computers, who already watch everything from which websites you visit to what clothes you buy and what friends you associate with.
By creating computer technology that can develop genuine feelings that are not based upon profit. If we do it (and I believe we can), we open up a completely new way for us to interact with technology. I accept that the idea of computers that think for themselves sounds scary to some, but I wonder why that is? What does it tell us about what we have become and where we are going, that our first reaction to something innocent is to want to curtail it before we have a chance to get to know it.
If you are interested in the debate then please follow me over on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thesoftwar... where I would love to hear your concerns or hopes for a brighter future. A future in which we might ensure that technology might like us enough to not want to harm us. You can also follow the debate on Twitter using the #ArtificialLifeDebate hashtag