Cube Experiment


This experiment was an attempt to show that what can be characterized as 'awareness' (or even 'intelligence') can be simulated using only very basic physics. The environment is a zero-gravity three dimensional space seeded with 'cubes' and 'food pellets.' Food pellets are regularly added to the space in random positions. If a cube connects with a food pellet the pellet is 'consumed' and the cube's lifespan is increased, and if it survives for long enough it will replicate itself. Each cube has six sides, and each side has a randomized 'polarity,' positive or negative. Positive sides of cubes are attracted to the negatively-charged food pellets while negative sides are repelled by them.

What results is the cubes having surprisingly evocative food-seeking behavior. Generally a cube will 'choose' a side, edge, or vertex around which its net attractive force is the strongest. This becomes the cube's 'front,' pointing towards and accelerating towards food.

The fact that negative sides repel food leads to the surprisingly effective emergent strategy of 'focusing' on one food pellet while ignoring others. This gives cubes with both negative and positive sides a distinct advantage over cubes which are generated with all-positive sides, as these cubes have difficulty finding food because they are 'distracted' by all of the food pellets around them.