Michael Levin: Biology, Life, Aliens, Evolution, Embryogenesis & Xenobots | Lex Fridman Podcast #325

Lex Fridman: Here’s my conversation with Michael Levin about biological robots and how to understand and control complex biological systems, including intelligent lifeforms on Earth and beyond.

Oct 1, 2022: Michael Levin is a biologist at Tufts University working on novel ways to understand and control complex pattern formation in biological systems.

EPISODE LINKS:
Michael’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/drmichaellevin
Michael’s Website: https://drmichaellevin.org
Michael’s Papers:
Biological Robots: [2207.00880] Biological Robots: Perspectives on an Emerging Interdisciplinary Field
Synthetic Organisms: https://tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1
Limb Regeneration: https://science.org/doi/10.1126/sciad

OUTLINE:
0:00 - Introduction
1:40 - Embryogenesis
9:08 - Xenobots: biological robots
22:55 - Sense of self
32:26 - Multi-scale competency architecture
43:57 - Free will
53:27 - Bioelectricity
1:06:44 - Planaria
1:18:33 - Building xenobots
1:42:08 - Unconventional cognition
2:06:39 - Origin of evolution
2:13:41 - Synthetic organisms
2:20:27 - Regenerative medicine
2:24:13 - Cancer suppression
2:28:15 - Viruses
2:33:28 - Cognitive light cones
2:38:03 - Advice for young people
2:42:47 - Death
2:52:17 - Meaning of life

SOCIAL: