DARPA Wants to Make a Computer Program that Evolves for 100 Years


matrix_2_1The most fearsome specter brandished by the “artificial intelligence will ​enslave us all” crowd is the computer program that can adapt. Not only would such software’s core function evolve and change, but it could survive both new and crumbling physical infrastructure.


By Jordan Pearson|MOTHERBOARD

This week, the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) published a request for proposals on how to design software than can do exactly this. Not just for 10 or 20 years, when much of today’s technology will surely be obsolete, but for a century. The program is known as BRASS—Building Resource Adaptive Software Systems.

When Florida is underwater and California is a desert dystopia, BRASS programs will live on. When the personal computer and the smartphone are distant, archaic memories; when our bodies interface with machines; when our thoughts become data inputs; BRASS programs will adapt with us.

“100 years from now, I wouldn’t dare to guess where technology will be at that point,” said Steen Rasmussen, head of the University of Denmark’s Center for Fundamental Living Technology. “At that point, technology today will likely have melded with biology. This would be something that has all the advantages of both of those regimes.”

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