After plowing through “The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins and working through an equally dense book titled “The Moral Animal” by Robert Wright, biology, aging, and the impact of computation is fascinating. The Economist had an insightful article discussing how supercomputers may be able to replicate and recreate a living organism “inside a computer”.
Without going into the various moral questions that are posed in the aptly titled “The Moral Animal”, the article discusses using the Turing test (which postulates the ability to test whether a computer is capable of thought) and the implications of building organisms inside a computer so that someone looking at the data would not be able to discern real from fabricated (for lack of a better word).
Relating software and hardware to biology’s “wet ware” as well as relating diseases to information systems is an interesting case of anthropomorphism yet exciting to think someday a computer may take on cognitive abilities. “Silicon biology” and learning machines are areas to watch.