#126 – Shrink Rap Radio LIVE! #3 – Artificial LIfe and Artificial Intelligence



Jerry Trumbule and I speak with Tom Barbalet who is originally from Australia and as a teenager became very interested in the concept of artificial life, which refers to the notion of creating a whole microecology of virtual beings within the computer. It’s a form of computer simulation and Tom is among the pioneers to experiment with this sort of thing. My understanding of artificial life is that the designer/programmer sets up a set of rules or evolutionary principles in a computer-generated world and then sees what consequences evolve. Ideally, as in the real world, more complex virtual organisms may develop as a result of competition for resources and interbreeding and unexpected things may happen. Tom’s Noble Ape simulation was among the first and has garnered a worldwide following and put him in touch with many of the leading figures in the field. In addition to being a regular Shrink Rap Radio listener, Tom also is a prolific blogger and podcaster in his own right. Here are some of the links mentioned in this episode: www.nobleape.com and www.biota.org, www.biota.org/podcast/, Talking Robots: Podcast on AI and Intelligent Robotics.

(Psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.)



  1. Posted February 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I had so much fun with Dr. Dave and Jerry, that I have moved my Biota podcast almost exclusively to the LIVE format through BlogTalkRadio. If you found something interesting in our discussion here, check out;


    Many thanks again to Dr. Dave!

  2. Posted May 3, 2008 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Transcript available via;


    Many thanks to Jason and Dr. Dave for your collective assistance with this.

  3. Reinhard, book lover
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Most of the stuff in this show was way over my head, I have to admit 🙂

    I’m not very excited about the idea of Artificial Intelligence, but what scares me somehow is another kind of artificial life, for example the DARPA Robodog:


    I find this really scary and and it gives me a really queasy fealing in the guts… 🙂

    Reinhard from Austria

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