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On the Complex Behaviour of Natural and Artificial Machines and Systems

Part of the Cognitive Systems Monographs book series (COSMOS,volume 36)


One of the most important aims of the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence and artificial life is the design and construction of systems and machines as versatile and as reliable as living organisms at performing high level human-like tasks. But how are we to evaluate artificial systems if we are not certain how to measure these capacities in living systems, let alone how to define life or intelligence? Here I survey a concrete metric towards measuring abstract properties of natural and artificial systems, such as the ability to react to the environment and to control one’s own behaviour.


  • Natural computing
  • Systems’ behaviour
  • Controllability
  • Programmability
  • Turing test
  • Compressibility
  • Kolmogorov complexity
  • Randomness
  • Robotics
  • Artificial life

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-14126-4_6
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Zenil, H. (2020). On the Complex Behaviour of Natural and Artificial Machines and Systems. In: Bonsignorio, F., Messina, E., del Pobil, A., Hallam, J. (eds) Metrics of Sensory Motor Coordination and Integration in Robots and Animals. Cognitive Systems Monographs, vol 36. Springer, Cham.

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