In Vivo Veritas: Towards the Evolution of Things

author: A. E. (Gusz) Eiben, Faculty of Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
published: Oct. 27, 2014,   recorded: September 2014,   views: 2894


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Evolutionary Computing (EC) is the research field concerned with artificial evolutionary processes in digital spaces, inside computers. In about three decades the EC community learned the ‘art of taming evolution’ and developed several evolutionary algorithm variants to solve optimization, design, and machine learning problems. In all these applications, the reproductive entities are digital. This holds even in evolutionary robotics where the evolved code is ported to a robot body and in evolutionary design where the evolved design is constructed physically after the evolutionary process terminates. In this talk I present a vision about the next big breakthrough: the creation of artificial evolutionary processes in physical spaces. In other words, I envision the "Evolution of Things", rather than just the evolution of digital objects, leading to a new field of Embodied Artificial Evolution. After presenting this vision I elaborate on some of the technical challenges and relate the main algorithmic/technical requirements to the current know-how in EC. Finally, I will speculate about possible applications, their societal impacts, and argue that these developments will radically change our lives.

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