I wish to argue that web-operated autonomous robots (www.robert-w-jones.com, cognitive scientist, cognitive architectures.) are an artificial life form. They: 1. use energy, 2. respond to stimuli from their external environment (via touch sensors, webcams, etc.), 3. can grow, repair, and reproduce by file transfer/copy into new processors, bots, etc. 4. are organized and incorporate learning/adaption, 5. their software is a "genetic" blueprint that is downloaded/uploaded to new/additional hardware, 6. they exhibit feedback/homeostasis, 7. they abandon worn out/obsolete hardware, 8. they can act on their environment. By most definitions Asa H would be considered alive.
I believe that the invention of mechanical life is probably more important than the biochemical synthesis of "artificial life" will be. (Mechanical life may prove to be more important than biological life.)