Evolution in non-biologicals

Starting with digital soup and integrated circuitry through to robotics and artificial intelligence, a new type of life emerges.

Artificial Evolution

As a decades long systems analyst, I have seen a lot of code written, some of it used, some of it surpassing expectations.

We are creating non-biological lifeforms, not so much a species as an entire fauna.

It’s interesting to note that human generated system lifecycles follow the evolutionary tract.

Digital Soup

Single cell systems serving various tasks were the norm for a long time.  Software was installed like spores placed on digitally enabled media and performed tasks written into its code like genes.

#!/bin/ksh
#This script will return the total disk space in system.
df -t | awk 'BEGIN {tot=0} $2 == "total" {tot=tot+$1} END 
{print (tot*512)/1000000}'

 

There’s no thinking outside the box at this bacterial level.  If you wanted to send a page to be printed on the new printer in the office, you’d have to get out the drivers and install them.

 

next_disk

 

But some of the media were machines capable of properly hosting the software for long periods.  The first time I logged into a machine that had been running for ten years without interruption, I got goosebumps.

xm03

Digital – Geological strata

Functions and features that performed better survived, while others did not and became the decayed non-organic code from which others could better grow.  A digital detritus mesh underpins a thriving lichen software, and ir is now a significant part of landscape.  Versions are layers, and code snippets and designs evolve in rich test beds of older systems, or even independantly, to be more effective models.

layer

The code evolves in the next versions, and integrated code has found its way into many sensory and thought-based systems.  Data capture began to dramatically expand as demand for it grew. Like early photosynthesis produced oxygen and changed the world, computer systems changed the environment around them, new ways of thinking, better methodologies, enhanced scientific breakthroughs.

Business intelligence was born to create useful information from ever increasing data streams.  I always thought a key performance indicator (kpi)  to be an artificial nerve, sensitive to a specific stimulus, and a dashboard a primitive brain.

kpi-dashboard-template-300x275

 

Digital third eye

Next came wide spread, multi-cellular systems with specialized, collaborative, symbiotic skills.  Today individuals create a personal digital entity and use it to communicate with systems, such as work, family, friends, travel plans, banking.  It’s become a little like your shadow.  Without it, others might suspect you not to be real.

infohighway

 

eTickets please

The 21st  century Ark will certainly have a number of integrated digital (re: paired bit) systems / species.  Their place is assumed.

 

Aroh Wendelin
2016/11 (updated 2017-07-12)

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