(Newsweek) Lucas Lamata and colleagues from Spain’s University of the Basque Country have developed an algorithm built on theoretical work set out in 2015. At that time, the team wanted to find out what the minimum size of a system was that could undergo self-replication—a hallmark of life. The abstract of study recently published in Scientific Reports opens with, “We resent the first experimental realization of a quantum artificial life algorithm in a quantum computer.”
Lamata explained the findings to Newsweek in this article, “We wanted to know whether emergent behaviors of macroscopic biological systems could be reproduced at the microscopic quantum level,” he said. “What we found in this research is that very small quantum devices with a few quantum bits could already emulate self-replication, combining standard biological properties, such as the genotype and phenotype, with genuine quantum properties, such as entanglement and superposition.” Lamata predicts one could eventually get a whole living artificial system that evolves. But could quantum artificial life become sentient?