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Kirkyan is a currently-theoretical "Thing" (PDF) related to both blogject (early example here by originator of the kirkyan concept) and spime. At the core, the concept revolves around the idea that the same data used to create a physical spime can be used to also create a virtual spime, and that the two can then be connected via the same ubiquitous computing network. Where spimes have a number of predefined limitations (e.g. “Cradle-to-cradle” life-spans), a kirkyan is inherently redundant and thus has additional capabilities. Furthermore, while the physical and the virtual are related and in constant networked contact, they are, to a significant degree, autonomous.
In effect, kirkyans are essentially "smart objects" whose pervasiveness extends to virtual spaces. As a result, a kirkyan's primary advantage over a spime is temporal; both in that a virtual space is not regulated by physical space time, and in that should the physical object be destroyed, it can be easily recreated using the same rapid-manufacturing processes used to create a spime; the difference being that the recycling process does not mark an end to the object's existence, but is only an event in its ongoing lifespan.
One example of a kirkyan would be an automated oil spill containment device comprised of a Master and any number of remote-controlled Slave buoys. In the event of a spill, further unforeseen events might occur which could be better managed by and benefit from detailed simulation. One such event might be the imminent, unexpected arrival of a runaway barge. Physical sensors are capable of gathering data (weather conditions, tide and current data, oil spill details, and of course the barge's course/speed/projected movement - and perhaps additional information such as displacement, propeller geometry, aso) and passing this on to the virtual instantiation which could then run a fast-forward, time-independent, highly-detailed 3D virtual simulation to optimize the physical device's response to its impending arrival. This would then permit the optimal placement of the physical robotic containment buoys. Observers, including experts anywhere in the world, could immerse themselves in the simulation and develop solutions to minimize the adverse effects of the tug sailing through the containment area. They might even use telepresence to control other non-kirkyan, physical devices required to best deal with the unfolding problem.
Furthermore, because the instantiations are autonomous, a kirkyan has the ability to co-evolve utilizing data gathered over the course of its interactions and improve itself; both physical and virtual instances. To continue the example of the oil spill containment device, one of the containment buoys might be struck by the barge. If the impact cracked the housing and rendered that buoy inoperative, sensors embedded in the skin of the housing measuring stress and strain could then feed information back into the system to be used to improve the physical design of the device. In fact, after containment is completed, the kirkyan's physical instantiation might deliberately recycle itself in order to generate an improved, more resilient version. Current parametric, feature-based CAD modelers make this a relatively simple operation since a dimensional change can be easily made and the entire part "regenerated". Once fabricated, data retained in the virtual instantiation could be downloaded.
The kirkyan concept first began to form during a presentation inside the virtual space Second_life where "(r)esidents can apply scripts to created objects, thereby controlling the behavior of the objects within the environment ... and allows objects to interact with the Second Life world, as well as the Internet". The concept was further supported by ongoing efforts to transfer 3D data from virtual spaces (Link 1, Link 2) into manufacturing CAD where it could then be optimized for mass production (Second Life objects can, in fact, communicate their geometry directly to the outside world). The initial idea of creating two objects - one real and one virtual - that shared AI code, then developed further into an attempt to both describe multi-spatial spimes and define a system that might produce a true artificial intelligence through evolutionary processes in design, manufacture, and programming, among other things.