Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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I think this would be a great thing to not do.

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Underground Worms

Intelligent computerized transport worms.
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What is life?

As your teachers told you at school, a living being is one that can Move, Reproduce, Sense, Nourish, Excrete, Respire, and Grow.

I propose that we create a generation of 'living' mechanised worms. These would be composed of lots of circular tubes, with holes along them, and a system of sucking soil down them. There would be lots of these, and in between would be a small motor capable of extending, retracting and bending. The creatures would therefore be able to Move. In addition to this, they would be equiped with a device allowing them to take in minerals from the soil, and burn them to create energy, which would take care of Nourishment and Respiration (respiration is basically a slow way of burning glucose). They could also use chemicals in the soil to grow new tubes, and they could split up when they were long enough, to Reproduce. They would be equiped with sensors to detect light, dark and vibrations, so they would be Sensitive. They would throw out waste soil, or Excrete it.

In addition to being alive, they would be equipped with wireless receivers/transmitters, and they would 'communicate' with each other in order to team up or stay out of each other's territorry.

They would carry miniture computers and these would be equiped with the basic program telling them what to do. Over time, the computer would introduce a random change into the program. It would look at the statistics, and decide which was the best program. This would make the creatures gradually evolve.

They could be used as a means of underground storage (they are never in the same place) or transportation (you could fit inside one and go under all the traffic).

Well done for reaching here, thank you, and please don't be too harsh in your judgement of my humble idea.

dbmag9, Jun 10 2005

And this can be the ticket collector. http://www.alicebot.org/
[moomintroll, Jun 10 2005]

[link]






       //Tread softly, for you// ...wait there, I'll fetch my boots.   

       ...and then we could load their little computer minds with ALICE, and they would (just like us) be able to Talk Crap.
(That wasn't a judgement on your idea, btw, more a general comment - welcome to the HB!)
moomintroll, Jun 10 2005
  

       Human not make robot that not help human! Grrr!   

       Human not think live much before evolve, GRRR!
daseva, Jun 10 2005
  

       Gosh what a terrifically good idea. [-]
Basepair, Jun 10 2005
  

       \\It would look at the statistics, and decide which was the best program. This would make the creatures gradually evolve.\\   

       Nice idea. You should read "Prey" by Michael Crichton. Fantastic story, but very chilling, because like most of his stories, they are wonderfully sci-fi but so frighteningly close to reality.   

       J. Doyne Farmer and Alletta d'A. Belin, "Artificial Life: The Coming Evolution": "Within fifty to a hundred years a new class of organisms is likely to emerge. These organisms will be artificial in the sense that humans will originally design them. However, they will reproduce, and will evolve into something other than their initial form; they will be "alive" under any reasonable definition of the word. The pace of evolutionary change will be extremely rapid. The advent of artificial life will be the most significant historical event since the emergence of human beings. The impact on humanity and the biosphere could be enormous, larger than the industrial revolution, nuclear weapons, or environmental pollution. We must take steps now to shape the emergence of artificial organisms; they have potential to be either the ugliest terrestrial disaster, or the most beautiful creation of humanity."
kuupuuluu, Jun 10 2005
  

       //Well done for reaching here, thank you, and please don't be too harsh in your judgement of my humble idea.\\ Oh, come on! You should know better than that! People here are as harsh as they want to be, hiding behind fake names safely on the other side of the world, we are a courageous bunch aren't we?   

       But make 'm small as worms and they can do good work on the soil, bun.
zeno, Jun 11 2005
  

       Who's bun?
daseva, Jun 11 2005
  

       mine
dbmag9, Aug 14 2005
  

       I think that's a good idea. Their reproduction would allow you to make thousands of them from just one. That would be a really good way to make money- you should patent that. Although, it would be rather difficult to make them reproduce- you would probably have to use most of the space in it for a machine that will convert the minerals into tubes.
apocalyps956, Jun 26 2006
  

       //read "Prey" by Michael Crichton. Fantastic story, but very chilling, because like most of his stories, they are wonderfully sci-fi but so frighteningly close to reality//   

       Having read The Andromeda Strain, I must disagree on both counts regarding Chrichton.   

       As for the worms though, what incentive will they have to transport humans? After a few generations, can we count on the statistics machine to keep that part in, rather than just burning the humans for glucose? In general, a little human oversight goes a long way with AI self-replicating devices.   

       These worms will also probably need to be able to dig through rock, since the topsoil is rarely more than a few meters thick, and avoid buildings.
ye_river_xiv, Sep 05 2006
  

       only shame is that itsnot giant overground millipedes but they might eat your bun.
the dog's breakfast, Mar 10 2007
  
      
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