Monday, December 8, 2008

Invention Idea #3/Story Idea #1

It's the future. Computers are unimaginably fast. Like, 8th generation Pentium fast! We want to recreate an historical figure, let's say da Vinci. All we have are the collected works.

Step 1: Recreate da Vinci's environment as closely as possible as a computer simulation.
Step 2: Assign a good guess as to what da Vinci's genes would have been.
Step 3: Simulate his life.
Step 4: Compare the output of his simulated life with his real output.
Step 5: Mutate the DNA, keeping any improvements.
Step 6: Until simulation is "close enough", goto 3.
Step 7: Instantiate DNA as a real human.

If the environment were perfect, we could get arbitrarily close to the real da Vinci. And if we had even faster computers, we could get arbitrarily close to a perfect simulation of the environment (which I leave as an exercise for the reader).

I'm going to waive the ethical considerations of steps 3 and 7 in favor of linking here.


  1. I think somebody's watched "The Boys from Brazil" one too many times... :-)

  2. Actually, I've never watched it. That said, this post did owe a lot to some probably-forever-nameless SF story I read once about computer simulations of historical people.