Scientists Believe Blockchain Systems Could Qualify as Living Beings

Life is precious, fragile, and tragically short.

According to a study published in the journal Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, some of the most common observations in biological life forms may have much in common with computer systems. This suggests that there might be a new definition of "life" as a result of a recent study.

This may seem like an odd move, but the technological revolution in AI and digital currency, as well as automated infrastructure in the next years, could be just beyond our reach without a fundamental shift of scientific paradigms.

Combining blockchain technology with AI could "satisfy" basic definitions for life

​According to Oleg Abramov, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute (partially funded by NASA's Habitable Worlds Program), there is evidence that suggests that biological systems have a similar order to computers. The study's lead author is Oleg Abramov. In a blog post posted on the institute's website, he stated that "a promising direction for future research [lies] in the] development mathematical theories that calculate the order in which biological systems order themselves." The paper's co-authors were Stephen Mojzsis and Kirstin Beebell, who are both directors of the newly established Origins Research Institute at Budapest's Research Center for Astronomy and Earth Sciences. They also contributed to the paper. This paper emphasized the importance of taking a multidisciplinary approach when defining "life".

These included modeling, theory, and observations. The formerly involved principles of self-organization, evolution, and diversity across a broad range of lifeforms. The authors were able to create a modified definition of biological systems that was based on first principles and not cohesive consensus, which can prove to be illogical. In a blog post, Abramov explained that a blockchain-based distributed virtual machine (DVM), made up of thousands of computers and nodes, functions as a global general-purpose computer that cannot be shut off. This study shows that such DVMs share characteristics with biological systems. Our observations show that there are many functional and structural similarities between the blockchain and DNA. This self-replicating molecule is the genetic blueprint of all life.

Abramov explained that the blockchain is an append-only data structure made up of blocks (subunits) that are permanently "chained" together with advanced cryptography. It is an immutable medium that contains instructions in the form of computer code. It is replicated across thousands, much like DNA in cells. Blockchain-based systems are not considered lifeforms but still exhibit certain properties. These properties include the ability to respond to the environment, growth and change, self-regulation, and replications. These processes of self-sufficiency, self-organization, and growth are considered an "organism" by the researchers. They consider this technology to be an operationally closed system that can, at most theoretically, fulfill all definitions of life. Researchers say that blockchain is not the only technology that can be considered life-like.

A new scientific paradigm might be required for the fourth industrial revolution

Artificial intelligence (AI), based on artificial neural networks (ANNs), might enable this emerging reassessment and reassessment in computing technology as a form of life. Read the blog post. These systems may even have some key advantages over biological life. They can pass down genes more efficiently to offspring and also provide an extremely high speed, accuracy, redundancy, and redundancy to the genetic carrier. Technology-based forms of life may be able to live an unlimited number of years, breaking with the carbon-based lives we lead. This assumes that the Earth doesn't end in its entirety. The Planetary Science Institute blog posted that public blockchain-based DVMs offer an uncontained environment to develop artificial general intelligence and have the potential to direct their evolution.

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The study authors believe that the possibility of creating entirely new, complex systems could be possible if the blockchain's life-like components, which are similar to human DNA, are combined with ANN-based artificial intelligence (which coordinates operations as a brain). These systems could be completely indistinguishable, at the fundamental level, from the biological life that we observe every day. This study is very unusual and avoids serious philosophical issues of defining consciousness and life by largely altering the definition of both. However, the economy is increasingly dependent on digital currencies, and many industries are becoming more automated. Reframing the next-gen technologies using a wider scientific paradigm might help humanity better understand the next industrial revolution.