Potential Breakthrough Links Game Theory and Evolution

(Forgive my departure from the expected schedule, this was good enough to jump the queue).

It’s always nice to be validated by science. Only a week or so after finally wrapping up my series of posts on game theory and evolution, a serious scientific paper has been published titled “Algorithms, games, and evolution“. For those of you not so keen on reading the original paper, Quanta Magazine has an excellent summary. The money quote is this one from the first paragraph of the article:

an algorithm discovered more than 50 years ago in game theory and now widely used in machine learning is mathematically identical to the equations used to describe the distribution of genes within a population of organisms

Now the paper is still being picked apart by various other scientists and more details could turn up (for all I know it could be retracted tomorrow) but I doubt it. Even if the wilder claims floating around the net are false, the fundamental truth stands that evolution drives behaviour, and evolution is a probabilistic, game-theory-driven process. While it’s easy to see that link on an intuitive level, it looks like we’ve finally started discovering the formal mathematical connections as well.


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