Life, or Something Like It

I had a flash of insight today regarding the programming of simple artificial life experiments. The simplest would be a series of algorithms running in the background of an interface, with a series of readouts of statistics… how many are left, which generation they are on, all that general stuff. Adding a graphic representation of the data improves the life metaphor, allowing visible representations of the “creatures” to visibly interact with one another.

With fairly simple object-oriented programming the artificial life (AL) forms could be given rudimentary traits — aggression, speed, strength, reproduction, life span, etc., and be allowed to interact with one another. A sidebar could keep track of the averages in the population: average aggression, average age of the group, likelihood of breeding… and, based on random starting variables, after a few or a few hundred generations, evolution will have occurred.

With a little more programming mojo–but still in the realm of the simple–the ALife individuals could be made to “cannibalize” one another, and tests could be run to see what version of the life is most likely to succeed: that which is harmful or helpful.

The idea occurred to me while I was browsing the AI Depot .

In other news, I added three Flash mouse trailers to the tech section. Flash: I love it, I hate it.