Are the robots we create alive?

Fragment of a discussion from User talk:Sheldor
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Sure. Bring it on. :)

I assume most of the definitions of life were created some time ago, before we had any intelligent technology. It seems somewhat foolish to use biological definitions on virtual robots running on silicon computers. They are simply very different forms of intelligence.

Biological life is very inefficient, not to mention needlessly fragile, because it is the result of two billion years of random mutations that just happen to not be a hindrance to survival, with no conscious decisions being made at all (unless you believe in creationism, but that's a subject for another forum). Robots and computers, on the other hand, are carefully designed by conscious beings to be efficient, effective, and secure. One might even say that, in the future, "artificial" life could be more alive than biological life.

Many people have trouble thinking of robots as alive because they have spent their entire lives seeing only biological forms exhibiting the qualities of life. In fact, we were taught in early childhood that only carbon-based biology could be considered alive.

Sheldor01:21, 25 February 2013