This is an ongoing research and development project to explore the possibility of the emergence of data layers in technocytes, similar to the genetic layers observed from protein to RNA and RNA to DNA. It is hypothesized that by producing a phenotype that contains copies of the technocyte’s data, a technocyte leaves itself at risk of permanently altering the course of its evolutionary history. Should a version of the phenotype (the “rogue”) ever exist where it then outputs its own version of the technocyte’s data, the resulting technocytes (the “mods”) become subject to the evolutionary pressures of the rogues, who are in turn, under a selective pressure to create technocytes of a certain kind – one that initially is of greater evolutionary fitness than a non-modified technocyte (a “natural”).
By consistently outcompeting the naturals, the mods will eventually constitute the majority (if not the entirety) of the technocyte population, in which case, they will have collectively lost their ability to produce fit offspring without the rogue. At that point, the rogue phenotypes will be selected for their ability to “make the most” of the dependent technocytes – effectively marking the end of data-based technological life and the beginning of a technological life form that is based on the rogue phenotype as its unit of evolution. In other words, if the prediction is correct, the technocytes will only evolve to the degree that it advances the evolutionary interests of the rogue, while the rogue’s evolutionary interests will remain uncompromised.
Given the falsifiable nature of the prediction, one study will attempt to produce a rogue phenotype in a technocyte, and in doing so, induce the emergence of a data layer and compare the evolutionary trajectories of the technocytes and the rogues, as the process takes place. This project is an offshoot of Project Technocyte.