What Does “Life 3.0” Mean? The Machine?

How do we define “life”? The question has been asked a million times before, but it is getting harder and harder to answer as artificial intelligence (AI) and powerful computers get better.

Consider these questions as you read:

life 3.0
  • How would you put the different kinds of life on Earth into groups?
  • When do you think Life 3.0 will reach Earth?
  • What about the hardware and software of Life 2.0 (Humans) that lets them rule the Earth?

In his book Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, Swedish-American physicist, cosmologist, and machine learning researcher Max Tegmark take on this vast question. Tegmark, a professor at MIT and the president of the Future of Life Institute, shows that the question “How do we define life?” is wrong because there are different kinds of life. He goes on a trip to explain Life 1.0, Life 2.0, and Life 3.0, the three stages of life that make up the universe.

life 3.0

Like our universe, life got more complicated and interesting over time… I find it helpful to divide life forms into three categories: Life 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.

Life 3.0

The following is all the information you require regarding Life 3.0

Life’s Problem

When you use particular criteria, like the composition of cells, to define life, you might not be able to classify future intelligent machines or alien civilizations as life forms.

life 3.0

Life can be thought of as a process that keeps getting more complicated. Not the matter itself, but the information about how it is put together is being copied. For example, when bacteria copy DNA, they make no new atoms. Instead, it arranges a new set of atoms in the same way as the original.

This means that life can be seen as a self-replicating information-processing system. Its information, or software, controls both its behavior and its hardware.

Life’s Beginning

Life has changed along with the universe as it has become more complicated and exciting. But where and when did it first show up? Even though there are many different opinions on this topic, the evidence shows that life on Earth began around 4 billion years ago.

life 3.0

In many ways, the most successful people in the world were better than the rest. These living things are called “intelligent agents” because they use sensors to gather information about their surroundings, analyze it, and then act on them.

This can be done with simple hardware and software, or it can be not very easy, like using your eyes and ears before talking to someone.

life 3.0

Simple, Complex Life

Bacteria are a great example of a type of life that takes advantage of this way of processing information. Many different types of bacteria use a sensor to determine how much sugar is in the liquid around them.

Also, they move around using structures called flagella that look like propellers. A certain kind of algorithm controls their behavior. If there isn’t enough sugar, the bacteria know to turn around.

The bacteria didn’t notice this. Their DNA was the basis for the hardware and software they made, like sugar sensors and flagella. The algorithm was hard-coded into their DNA as they evolved. They didn’t learn to swim toward sweets but through trial and error.

Bacterium (Life 1.0)

Bacteria are like Life 1.0. Instead of being made, the hardware and software of these life forms have changed over time.

life 3.0

Life 1.0 is not very flexible or easy to change. It changes slowly over many generations to adapt. Even though bacteria can become drug-resistant if exposed to many drugs over many generations, each bacterium can’t change how it acts on its own.

life 3.0

Human (Life 2.0)

People are a part of Life 2.0. Our software is mostly already made, but our hardware changes as time progresses. What does it mean to say “software”? We make decisions based on the information we get from all of our senses and the algorithms we use to process it.

life 3.0

When we are born, we can’t do things like walk, read, write, sing, or play an instrument. As we get older, all of this software gets written into our brains by the things we learn. At first, our teachers and family made our software, but later, we started making it ourselves.

Life 2.0 is much smarter and more flexible than Life 1.0 because it can make its software. How Life 2.0 can be changed. Life 2.0 has taken over Earth and other life forms because it can change its software to adapt to a changing environment.

life 3.0

Machine (Life 3.0)

Life 3.0 can choose what hardware and software to use. Life 3.0 removes the hardware limitations that the first two life forms still have, which keeps them from living forever. It is not limited by evolution and makes its own decisions.

life 3.0

The future’s artificial intelligence (AI) devices are these Life 3.0 systems.

life 3.0

Conclusion & Life’s Evolution

Even though the universe has been changing for 13.8 billion years, the rate of change on Earth has sped up a lot. Life 1.0 started about 4 billion years ago, Life 2.0 about 100 thousand years ago, and Life 3.0 is just around the corner.

life 3.0

Many people who study AI think this will happen in the next century, so many of us may have to live with Life 3.0.

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