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Concepts of cooperation in artificial life

Harold Thimbleby, Ian Witten, David Pullinger
October 1998

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We have built some simple, but useful, cooperative Artificial Life agents. Based on this experience and by contrasting our work with computer viruses, we argue that Artificial Life (the simulation of life including evolution) can only remain reliably and indefinitely cooperative if it adheres to explicitly-specified social conventions. Breaking or neglecting these conventions results in systems that are worse than useless; in fact, malicious with respect to human social values.

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