Computer Engineering and Computer Science
With unprecedented advances in genetic engineering we are starting to see progressively more original examples of synthetic life. As such organisms become more common it is desirable to gain an ability to distinguish between natural and artificial life forms. In this paper, we address this challenge as a generalized version of Darwin's original problem, which he so brilliantly described in On the Origin of Species. After formalizing the problem of determining the samples' origin, we demonstrate that the problem is in fact unsolvable. In the general case, if computational resources of considered originator algorithms have not been limited and priors for such algorithms are known to be equal, both explanations are equality likely. Our results should attract attention of astrobiologists and scientists interested in developing a more complete theory of life, as well as of AI-Safety researchers.
Original Publication Information
Roman V Yampolskiy 2017 Phys. Scr. 92 013002
Yampolskiy, Roman V., "On the origin of synthetic life: Attribution of output to a particular algorithm" (2016). Faculty Scholarship. 580.