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I keep thinking about gene splicing with things that aren’t living, that is, how can we give living objects the ability to breed traits involving kinematics, computational thought, etc.     How would they use these new abilities to collect food, defend themselves, develop relationships with their environment, etc.

One idea is a plant that can use sensors to know how many people are near it then attract or drive away people as its need for light, warmth, etc change.  As an example, if it’s getting too much sun, it needs to attract people to give it shade,  but if it’s very cloudy, it would try and drive them away.   A couple of ways to attract/repel people are to play sounds they like/dislike, or to display interesting patterns of light, so this plant might have controllable LEDs and hidden speakers to attract/repel people, and sensors hidden in the cabinet and “dirt” to determine how many people are nearby or how much light it’s receiving.

To answer Carlos before he asks, the machine learning component is what patterns of light and sound work best to attract/repel people of different heights at different times of the day.

rough sketch of attract/repel plant

rough sketch of attract/repel plant

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