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Artificial Life

Summer 1998, Vol. 4, No. 3, Pages 225-227
(doi: 10.1162/106454698568558)
© 1998 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Von Neumann's Quintessential Message: Genotype + Ribotype = Phenotype
Article PDF (92.02 KB)
Abstract

In this short article we argue that von Neumann's quintessential message with respect to self-replicating automata is genotype + ribotype = phenotype. Self-replication of his universal constructor occurs in analogy to nature: The description (genotype) written on the input tape is translated via a ribosome (ribotype) so as to create the offspring universal constructor (phenotype).