The University of Sussex

Processors as organisms

Robert Davidge

The von Neumann architecture has long been the heart of all computers. its apparently rigid structure has led to it being accused as the antithesis of the new approaches to programming led by Artificial Life. However, slight modifications of this structure allow us to produce a processor which behaves like a simple organism. A population of virtual processors have been designed to live in an environment consisting of a 2-D memory of machine instructions. The processors execute these instructions and thereby affect their own state and the state of the world they inhabit. This paper describes the methodology of these experiments and points to the very first results.

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