Monday, July 31, 2006

Whatever it is, it ain't sheep.


Do Androids deam of Electric Sheep? How about computers? The former was a science fiction short story written by Philip K. Dick. Which was the basis of the movie Bladerunner. The latter is called the "Electric Sheep" project which was started 7 years ago by Scott Draves. The purpose of the program is to use grid computing to create a screensaver. User's then vote on screensaver they like most and those will stay around longer than those not voted for. Beneath this facade is actually something that is much more complex.

What is actually going on beneath the scenes is the creation of artificial life based on Genetic algroithms. So everyone who participates is involved in creating a new organisim in this case a complex fractal. By voting on a organism you are choosing which one is the strongest and as Darwin theorized, only the strong survive. Those strong organisms go on to spread their genes to new organisms and life continues. Draves is going to give a speach at Siggraph later this year.

Tell me what you think of the program.

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