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Thread: Cornell scientists create ‘living’ machines that eat, grow, and evolve

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    Thinking Cornell scientists create ‘living’ machines that eat, grow, and evolve

    I guess we all knew that this was only going to be a matter of time... And this has serious ramifications, because any which way you look at it, even though it may not have a soul, by all biological definitions, this is life. It's artificial life, but it's life nevertheless ─ while artificial intelligence in turn doesn't come anywhere near actual intelligence due to the fact that it doesn't have consciousness.

    And so, projecting this into the future ─ and please don't interpret my words wrongly ─ what we have here is the potential for a slave race to be developed, by matching this technology with the concept of artificial intelligence, or at the very least, the limited degrees of problem-solving found in advanced industrial robots.

    Personally, I don't buy into the whole Zecharia Sitchin story of the Annunaki being some advanced extraterrestrial species who engineered humanity as slaves to mine for gold, but all of a sudden, we ourselves as a species are getting a lot closer to becoming those very Annunaki, aren't we?





    Source: The Next Web




    The field of robotics is going through a renaissance thanks to advances in machine learning and sensor technology. Each generation of robot is engineered with greater mechanical complexity and smarter operating software than the last. But what if, instead of painstakingly designing and engineering a robot, you could just tear open a packet of primordial soup, toss it in the microwave on high for two minutes, and then grow your own ‘lifelike’ robot?

    If you’re a Cornell research team, you’d grow a bunch and make them race.

    Scientists from Cornell University have successfully constructed DNA-based machines with incredibly life-like capabilities. These human-engineered organic machines are capable of locomotion, consuming resources for energy, growing and decaying, and evolving. Eventually they die.

    That sure sounds a lot like life, but Dan Luo, professor of biological and environmental engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell, who worked on the research, says otherwise. He told The Stanford Chronicle:


    "We are introducing a brand-new, lifelike material concept powered by its very own artificial metabolism. We are not making something that’s alive, but we are creating materials that are much more lifelike than have ever been seen before."

    Just how lifelike? According to the research they’re on par with biologically complex organisms such as mold:


    "Here, we report a bottom-up construction of dynamic biomaterials powered by artificial metabolism, representing a combination of irreversible biosynthesis and dissipative assembly processes. An emergent locomotion behavior resembling a slime mold was programmed with this material by using an abstract design model similar to mechanical systems."

    And the racing part is no joke, the paper goes on to state:


    "An emergent racing behavior of two locomotive bodies was achieved by expanding the program. Other applications, including pathogen detection and hybrid nanomaterials, illustrated further potential use of this material. Dynamic biomaterials powered by artificial metabolism could provide a previously unexplored route to realize “artificial” biological systems with regenerating and self-sustaining characteristics."

    Basically, the Cornell team grew their own robots using a DNA-based bio-material, observed them metabolizing resources for energy, watched as they decayed and grew, and then programmed them to race against each other. We would have made them compete in a karaoke competition, but Cornell’s application is also impressive.

    As unbelievable as it sounds, the team is actually just getting started. Lead author on the team’s paper, Shogo Hamada, told The Stanford Chronicle that “ultimately, the system may lead to lifelike self-reproducing machines.”

    This work is still in its infancy, but the implications of organically grown, self-reproducing machines are incredible. And the debate over whether robots can be “alive” will likely have an entire new chapter to discuss soon.

    For a deeper dive you can read the research paper here.


    Source: The Next Web
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    It's artificial life, not biological, I think there's a huge difference there. I will have to use sci-fi metaphors here, so apologies if that offends the more scientifically-minded, but before something appears as scientific or technological reality, it will have been dealt with in fiction beforehand, which makes it far easier to talk about.

    This artificial form of life has been explored in several Star Trek and Stargate episodes as nanites and replicators respectively. In both cases they got out of hand and threatened serious mayhem, even the end of life as we know it. I would certainly be concerned if this sort of technology got out of hand, but there are certainly many promising applications for it.

    BTW, I see no parallels with the story of the Anunnaki's creation of humanity. Sitchin only made up the gold mining part (or mistranslated it, who knows), but the creation of humanity as a slave race is actually in the Enuma Elish. However, this is completely different, because we're talking about artificial and as far as we know non-sentient life here. I am personally excited about the potential of this technology, it could lead to great things if we don't mess it up.

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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    It's artificial life, not biological, I think there's a huge difference there. [...]
    Yes, but it's made from DNA. That's what worries me. Man is playing God again.
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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    it could lead to great things if we don't mess it up.
    don't bet on it. the agenda of anti-life forces should be clear by now...

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    There are two sides. We only see the anti-life forces, because they're closer to the material realm and have greater influence over it. However, there is a hidden, divine agenda, which is much more subtle and not so readily apparent. It always wins in the end, because it is real, whereas the anti-life agenda is illusory and self-destructive. It always eats its own children in the end.

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    Color emphasis is mine...

    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    There are two sides. We only see the anti-life forces, because they're closer to the material realm and have greater influence over it. However, there is a hidden, divine agenda, which is much more subtle and not so readily apparent. It always wins in the end, [...
    But at what cost?

    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    ...] because it is real, whereas the anti-life agenda is illusory and self-destructive. It always eats its own children in the end.
    Yes, and this "divine agenda" that you are speaking of is in turn offering up its own children to evil on a platter as well. Because in the end, as above so below and as below so above. Two warring factions who'll do whatever it takes to win, regardless of whom they have to sacrifice, so long as it's not themselves ─ just like during the battle between the Vorlons and the Shadows in "Babylon 5".

    If you're not familiar with that series, both species were entrusted with the stewardship over mankind. The Shadows sought to teach mankind through war, competition and chaos, whereas the Vorlons sought to teach mankind through order and discipline ─ which took on an almost totalitarian trait after a while ─ but in the end, both species were manipulating and sacrificing humanity in their ever-enduring war with one another.

    Sorry for the cynicism, but I speak from personal experience. I live here and now, I've been paying my dues with blood, sweat and tears all of my mortal existence, and I most certainly do not wish to experience an afterlife in any way, shape or form. When I die, I want it to be over ─ I want to cease existing altogether. Therefore, I don't need any grandiose reward from whatever gods in some heavenly realm after I'm dead, because then it's too friggin' late. I would even go so far as to say that, for myself, I already consider it too late right now ─ there are things that cannot be repaired and there is yet other damage that cannot be undone. Besides, as far as I'm concerned, it's just another manifestation of a two-party dictatorship anyway.

    Again, sorry for the bitterness, but that's how I see it, how it is and has so far always been, both for myself as an individual and for a number of people I care about. I'm not going to name any names, but a very dear friend of mine has just tried to kill herself because she's lived a lifetime of very intense and endless suffering ─ one thing after the other ─ and she couldn't take it anymore. And she's more than a decade younger than I am, and she has never hurt a fly in her life. Things might be different for you, and if that is true, then power to you. But me, I've seen enough.

    Either way, we're already drifting way off from the topic of the creation of artificial and programmable life from DNA molecules and Man playing God ─ once again, because we've already got human organs growing in pigs by now, and as of still very recently we've also already got monkeys with human brain cells. And then there's eugenics ─ that part has become real too now, in China.
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    Hi Aragorn,

    I was about to go to sleep, but I could not, until I formulated a response to your previous post.

    As you know, I respect your opinion and can certainly see where you're coming from. I've had similar thoughts in the past and this included a certain disdain for mainstream religious views, particularly the Monotheistic ones. I guess your views could be classified as Gnostic, or perhaps non-dualistic, a school of thought known as Advaita in Sanskrit. I was never really able to wrap my head around either school of thought and the more time has passed, the more I found myself agreeing with the good vs evil, light vs dark duality and dichotomy of mainstream religion.

    I understand that this is seen as rather silly and in many ways akin to believing in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus in most Western Societies (with the US being a partial, but increasingly less relevant, divergent example), but I simply cannot ignore reality the way I experience and manifest it.

    I am a channel for divine energy, for better or worse. It is what I do and it is my lived, daily experience. Some appreciate and respect it, most however either react with fear or ridicule. I have to keep my spiritual life mostly secret, because society at large does not accept it, even when it says it does. Nobody in my extended family or even amongst my friends knows even a fraction of what I had to go through in the last seven or so years.

    I suffered greatly and the secrecy is slowly killing me, but I must do this to survive in a mostly materialistic society, that completely denies the spiritual side of life and is dead set against any real manifestation of divinity. You are fine as long as you don't actually do anything that is remotely divine or spiritual, but as soon as you start manifesting real stuff, you are ridiculed, then persecuted.

    Apologies, if it comes across as a rant, but this has been weighing heavily on me for a while now. I have in fact done too much apologising and holding back over the last couple of years and I'm done with all that. I am an unapologetic believer in Divine Justice, in the Goodness of Heaven and the God that we might call by different names and assign different faces to, but is essentially the same One, whatever form he, she or it might take. I have helped too many people over the past few months to ignore the fact that this was all part of a Divine plan and only made possible through Divine grace.

    I also make no apologies for the spiritual company I keep, some of it may have been ill-advised in the past (still not a huge fan of team underworld) but I learnt from every single spirit/deity I came in contact with, even the ones that were really just driving their own agenda.

    I'm afraid that heaven and hell is real and everyone must make a choice which team they're on, there is no middle ground. Even religious people are in denial about this, because they have not experienced either in this lifetime and have no connection to Spirit. I channel the Spirit of God every day and give it away freely to those that will take it. The number of people that are ready to accept it is surprisingly small and this is all due their own personal choice. You cannot force this on people and they must all want to receive Divine Grace willingly, by opening their hearts to at least the possibility that there is something Divine and Good in the world beyond this one, which we cannot see or experience with our normal senses.

    I realise that this sounds exactly like something a street preacher would say and I'm not even a Christian, in the conventional sense, but there you have it. I have to give you the Truth the way I see it.

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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    [...] I'm afraid that heaven and hell is real and everyone must make a choice which team they're on, there is no middle ground. [...]
    Just for the record ─ don't get me wrong, Chris ─ I have chosen a side, even if only because this is who I am, and I couldn't choose differently if I wanted to. So it's not like I've stepped out of the war between Good and Evil and that I would now be looking out for number one instead. That's not me. I will always do what I feel is the right thing to do. I am always trying to help, and I am driven by compassion and unconditional love. But as far as I'm concerned, they can shove their reward where the sun doesn't shine. I don't want it.

    I meant what I said when I wrote that I want my existence to end after my life here is over. I've had enough of being stabbed in the face by those who are evil while being stabbed in the back all at the same time by those who are supposed to be on my side. I do not wish to dwell in the company of either after I leave these mortal realms, and even existence in and of itself is something I am tired of.

    There are ideals, and there are gods. Those are two very distinct concepts. I will always be true to my ideals, but the gods can go **** themselves for all I care.
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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Just for the record ─ don't get me wrong, Chris ─ I have chosen a side, even if only because this is who I am, and I couldn't choose differently if I wanted to. So it's not like I've stepped out of the war between Good and Evil and that I would now be looking out for number one instead. That's not me. I will always do what I feel is the right thing to do. I am always trying to help, and I am driven by compassion and unconditional love. But as far as I'm concerned, they can shove their reward where the sun doesn't shine. I don't want it.

    I meant what I said when I wrote that I want my existence to end after my life here is over. I've had enough of being stabbed in the face by those who are evil while being stabbed in the back all at the same time by those who are supposed to be on my side. I do not wish to dwell in the company of either after I leave these mortal realms, and even existence in and of itself is something I am tired of.

    There are ideals, and there are gods. Those are two very distinct concepts. I will always be true to my ideals, but the gods can go **** themselves for all I care.
    I guess that is what is known as Nirvana. An extinction of Duality and a return to Oneness. It is possible, but very difficult, only certain Buddhas and Boddhisattvas have managed it and not in great numbers. Meanwhile, here on earth, we have to live a dualistic life and have no choice in the matter.

    I think your beef is with the Christian God and Angels. I can certainly understand why, though I know relatively little about them and can't say that I've had extensive interactions, certainly not enough to form an informed opinion on the matter. You may be right and there could be something nefarious going on in the background with these groups. In the meanwhile, I enjoy watching episodes of Lucifer on Netflix, which, behind the light-hearted, crime-fighting veneer is exactly about this dilemma. Turns out, you can have sympathy for the Devil, if his role is well-written and well-acted

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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    I guess that is what is known as Nirvana. An extinction of Duality and a return to Oneness. It is possible, but very difficult, only certain Buddhas and Boddhisattvas have managed it and not in great numbers.
    No, I'm not looking for Nirvana. I simply want to stop being in any way, shape or form.
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    Aragorn, that's a big 'hmmm'. I'm not sure you get to dictate the nature of the afterlife but to the extent you feel alienated from spirit...holy and/or demonic, you might get your way. A nice quiet place where you can while away infinity playing your guitar and thinking peaceful thoughts...until...you are ready.
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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    The question:
    If humanity can do it, should it?

    Playing God or playing along with God. Pretty heavy question in my estimation.
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    No, I'm not looking for Nirvana. I simply want to stop being in any way, shape or form.
    Soul death, eh?

    I guess the longing for it is understandable, if you have been suffering a lot. I believe the soul is eternal and cannot die, but who knows, maybe I'm wrong. From what I hear from people who regularly travel to the other side (mediums), there is a sort of limbo, where souls that have lost all energy and will to live lapse into a state resembling permanent death. They are no longer capable of incarnation and with no outside source of energy, they are stuck in a permanent vegetative state, moribund for eternity. It doesn't sound like much fun though.

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    Sounds like Christian Limbo... Not accessible to those that have been Baptized in the Christian faith...which I believe Aragorn has been. I hope he is not disappointed... He won't be.
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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    Quote Originally posted by NotAPretender View Post
    The question:
    If humanity can do it, should it?

    Playing God or playing along with God. Pretty heavy question in my estimation.
    That is the contemplation ─ and possibly, a discussion ─ I had in mind when I posted this thread, yes.
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