12 July 2013

Virtual evolution

This video shows results from a research project involving simulated Darwinian evolutions of virtual block creatures. A population of several hundred creatures is created within a supercomputer, and each creature is tested for their ability to perform a given task, such the ability to swim in a simulated water environment. Those that are most successful survive, and their virtual genes containing coded instructions for their growth, are copied, combined, and mutated to make offspring for a new population. The new creatures are again tested, and some may be improvements on their parents. As this cycle of variation and selection continues, creatures with more and more successful behaviors can emerge.
More information here, via Reddit.


  1. Seems like they missed one major trait amongst most motile organisms: the ability to evade predators most efficiently. I suppose the model would have looked similar to the red dot test... but instead of approaching the dot, they would 'evolve' a strategy to best avoid it.

  2. This is an old (but very good) video about this sort of thing. Here is a slightly newer one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9ptOeByLA4


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