Altruism Found in Robots
A Swiss research team is attempting to prove Hamilton's rule that concerns the evolution of altruism. Each Alice bot has 2 wheels and 33 "genes" for an artificial nervous system. They were assigned a value for each of the genes and then survival of the fittest was demonstrated. The bots that couldn't gather food also could not pass on genes to the next generation.
They then gave the robots the ability to collaborate with others by sharing their food and those became altruistic and did so more often than hoarding. After testing 25 different combinations of the values, it seems that the transition kicked in as predicted by the rule. The study is still going on, although the findings are not definitive.
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Posted by Sheila Franklin at May 12, 2011 11:22 AM