Randall Beer: Agency in the Game of Life

Previous work has demonstrated that the organization of persistent spatiotemporal patterns such as gliders in the Game of Life (GoL) satisfy the closure and boundary conditions of autopoiesis. But can such entities be usefully interpreted as agents? That very much depends, of course, on what notion of agency is on offer. As a way to focus debate on these issues, I will highlight several features of GoL entities that are at the very least suggestive of agency.