As you may know, Fred Hoyle co-wrote a beautiful novel called “A for Andromeda”, in which a very special message coming from the cosmos is received through a radio-telescope leading to a number of surprising events. I have often been thinking about that book because of my current experience with algorithmic music. In short, I'm curently experiencing a puzzling variant of a Turing test, in which I know that my interlocutor is artificial and I have to tell whether their messages may be considered, to some extent, “more than artificial.”
I'm talking of tracks such as the ones I called Kwaidan, Mantra, ReLIFE, and several others. These tracks were produced by very simple seeds, interpreted as pack of cards that simulate a game. All the notes are actually the states of the game as it is played. What emerges from those so simple seeds is a truly unexpected complexity — a complexity that is making me reflect on my limited way of understanding intelligence and evolution. I see now more clearly — or I should better say, I hear — that the infinite variety of random and not-so-random combinations occasionally result in something that is smart-by-pure-chance; something that, because of its superior “smartness,” is naturally propelled to the next stages of the evolutionary path. All this makes me think of biological evolution in a different way: as an algorithmic, living composition.
Herewith I invite you to perform the above mentioned Turing test variant yourself, and listen to those messages — messages that come not from the cosmos, as in Hoyle's book, but rather from the domain of mathematical ideas...