Artificial Life by Steven Levy
A Report from the Frontier Where Computers Meet Biology

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This enthralling book alerts us to nothing less than the existence of new varieties of life. Some of these species can move and eat, see, reproduce, and die. Some behave like birds or ants. One such life form may turn out to be our best weapon in the war against AIDS.

What these species have in common is that they exist inside computers, their DNA is digital, and they have come into being not through God's agency but through the efforts of a generation of scientists who seek to create life in silico.

But even as it introduces us to these brilliant heretics and unravels the intricacies of their work. Artificial Life examines its subject's dizzying philosophical implications: Is a self-replicating computer program any less alive than a flu virus? Are carbon-and-water-based entities merely part of the continuum of living things? And is it possible that one day "a-life" will look back at human beings and dismiss us as an evolutionary way station -- or, worse still, a dead end?


About Steven Levy

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STEVEN LEVY has covered Google for more than a decade, first at Newsweek, where he was senior editor and chief technology writer, and now at Wired, where he is senior writer. He has also written about Apple (Insanely Great and The Perfect Thing) and is the author of the classic book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. He lives in New York with his wife and son.
Published January 1, 1992 by Pantheon. 394 pages
Genres: Computers & Technology, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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As Levy methodically traces the development of ``A-life'' studies from John von Neumann's interest during the 1940's in the similarities between computers and nature to today's soul-searching by researchers into the spirituality, civil rights, and destructive power of future artificial life forms...

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Publishers Weekly

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Writing primarily for readers with backgrounds in science, Levy focuses on the conceptual edge that artificial-life research defines.

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Publishers Weekly

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Science reporter Levy ( Hackers ) writes for readers with extensive interdisciplinary backgrounds in science, although he includes such popular sensations as an artificially ``live'' foot-long robot cockroach.

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