Re: Protean Self-Transformation

David McFadzean (
Sat, 29 Mar 1997 18:58:47 -0700

> From: Gregory Houston <>
> Date: Saturday, March 29, 1997 5:25 PM

> Can you merely program a computer to see without creating optical
> hardware? No! You can program pattern recognizing neural nets day in and
> day out, but until you give the computer hardware [optics] to see with,
> it cannot see ... no matter how hard you try to program it to do so.

What if the images that the computer analyses were generated with
a ray-tracing program? No optical hardware needed.

> Can you merely program a robot to walk? No! You have to give the thing
> "legs" if you want it to walk, or wheels if you want it to roll. No
> matter how much time you invest in programming a computer to either walk
> or roll, that computer will do neither without the required hardware.

Randall Beer and his students successfully taught (programmed/trained/
evolved) a simulated cockroach to walk though it had no real (hardware)
legs. When the neural nets were later downloaded into a real robot it
could instantly walk in the real world.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus