Von Neumann machines

posted: 11-30-2016

Join us this Thursday as Jon Arnett presents on Von Neumann machines and to say goodbye to our graduating seniors. The following is a brief excerpt on Von Neumann machines from Jon Arnett:

“Imagine a probe gliding through the galaxy. It lands on a planet, and begins to mine. After a while, it uses the materials it has collected to construct a replica of itself. The replica launches into space. The original probe sets off to explore its new found world, sending data back to Earth.

Imagine a nanobot breathing in carbon dioxide and breathing out oxygen. Overwhelmed by the sheer amount of gas it must convert, it creates a replica to help it create a breathable atmosphere.

Imagine a world that’s gray. It undulates, slightly. If you were to take a microscope and look very closely (cautiously, though), you would see a teeming civilization of nanobots. They have overrun. They have eaten everything. They will eat you, too, if you get too close.

These are the promises and perils of Von Neumann (or Self-Replicating) machines. Join me for my exploration of this field, focusing on the history and theory of such machines.”

As always there will be pizza and laptops are encouraged.