Thursday, April 13, 2006

Real Life

Real life is writing a Sunday Scribbling on Thursday!

I struggled with the meaning of "real life" for a while because of my computer engineering background. I went through university contemplating artificial intelligence, artificial life, virtual reality and the like. So, do I contrast real life with these concepts? Or, do I write about the daily realities of life? Perhaps I am taking too literal an angle.

No matter what the angle, real life is complex.

Engineers and scientists can build hugely powerful systems to try and predict something as unpredictable as the weather, but they struggle to mimic the simplest of the simplest forms of real life. Perhaps real life is not meant to be mimicked, and yet there seems to be a great fascination with the creation, duplication and prolongation of real life by artificial means.

The question becomes what is real? If (wo)man succeeds in creating a being, a robot, a computer program, a nose, a heart, an eye that can mimic all mannerisms of real life, does that make it real? Is it real life?

I believe it is definitely real and it is definitely part of real life, and, with some struggle, I believe it must be real life. My reasoning is this: if it looks like, feels like, smells like, acts like real life and was created by real life, it must be real life!

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