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This article presents Artificial Life, an interdisciplinary field of study that helps understand life on Earth (life as we know it) and other, possible kinds of life (as it could be). Artificial Life research builds models of life and synthesizes related phenomena and processes in all currently available media - software, hardware and wetware. The first part of this work focuses on Artificial Life as a research field. In the second part, three exemplary computer science algorithms are shown that are inspired by biological processes. These are evo!utionary and coevolutionary algorithms, swarm intelligence and ant algorithms, and artificial immune systems. The final part of this work provides a number of reflections on the goals of Artificial Life research, human nature and limitations, and our problems with evaluating complex outcomes of digital life experimentation.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.