Most of us will have heard the term signifying an artificial intelligence, that only resembles what we might call free will. It has it’s information processing hard coded and cannot adapt to external conditions.
A few days ago I got into a science fiction spree feeling that the emergent behaviour of complex systems is in itself an intelligence, virtual because it is not directly connected to the elements of the system. All speculation aside, I want to highlight, that we’re already mining this virtual intelligence.
The most striking manifestation of this might be computers built out of slime-moulds. That’s an ugly mushroom you sometimes encounter on dead trees, which reacts in a relyably to electric pulses and space constraints. Now we will ask it’s help for computational tasks: This thing already solved simple mathematical problems, mazes and even designed the Tokyo metro system! Watch these videos:
See also this book.
The rest of this post is really a to do list for me and might be a quick reference for the occasional visitor. I’ll put up some short videos showing the concept of the most well known biology-inspired algorithms as well as useful homepages presenting the subject:
Ant inspired problem solving:
Information-Processing in bacteria:
Molecular Programming in General
All this in contrast to algorithms based on graph theory: