The Surprising Creativity of Digital Evolution: A Collection of Anecdotes from the Evolutionary Computation and Artificial Life Research Communities

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  author =       "Joel Lehman and Jeff Clune and Dusan Misevic and 
                 Christoph Adami and Julie Beaulieu and 
                 Peter J. Bentley and Samuel Bernard and Guillaume Beslon and 
                 David M. Bryson and Patryk Chrabaszcz and Nick Cheney and 
                 Antoine Cully and Stephane Doncieux and 
                 Fred C. Dyer and Kai Olav Ellefsen and Robert Feldt and 
                 Stephan Fischer and Stephanie Forrest and Antoine Frenoy and 
                 Christian Gagne and Leni K. Le Goff and 
                 Laura M. Grabowski and Babak Hodjat and Frank Hutter and 
                 Laurent Keller and Carole Knibbe and Peter Krcah and 
                 Richard E. Lenski and Hod Lipson and Robert MacCurdy and 
                 Carlos Maestre and Risto Miikkulainen and Sara Mitri and 
                 David E. Moriarty and Jean-Baptiste Mouret and Anh Nguyen and 
                 Charles Ofria and Marc Parizeau and 
                 David P. Parsons and Robert T. Pennock and William F. Punch and 
                 Thomas S. Ray and Marc Schoenauer and Eric Schulte and 
                 Karl Sims and Kenneth O. Stanley and Francois Taddei and 
                 Danesh Tarapore and Simon Thibault and 
                 Westley Weimer and Richard Watson and Jason Yosinksi",
  title =        "The Surprising Creativity of Digital Evolution: {A}
                 Collection of Anecdotes from the Evolutionary
                 Computation and Artificial Life Research Communities",
  howpublished = "arXiv",
  year =         "2018",
  month =        "29 " # mar,
  note =         "v2",
  keywords =     "genetic algorithms, genetic programming",
  archiveprefix = "arXiv",
  eprint =       "1803.03453",
  timestamp =    "Wed, 11 Apr 2018 07:46:55 +0200",
  biburl =       "",
  bibsource =    "dblp computer science bibliography,",
  URL =          "",
  abstract =     "Biological evolution provides a creative fount of
                 complex and subtle adaptations, often surprising the
                 scientists who discover them. However, because
                 evolution is an algorithmic process that transcends the
                 substrate in which it occurs, evolution's creativity is
                 not limited to nature. Indeed, many researchers in the
                 field of digital evolution have observed their evolving
                 algorithms and organisms subverting their intentions,
                 exposing unrecognised bugs in their code, producing
                 unexpected adaptations, or exhibiting outcomes
                 uncannily convergent with ones in nature. Such stories
                 routinely reveal creativity by evolution in these
                 digital worlds, but they rarely fit into the standard
                 scientific narrative. Instead they are often treated as
                 mere obstacles to be overcome, rather than results that
                 warrant study in their own right. The stories
                 themselves are traded among researchers through oral
                 tradition, but that mode of information transmission is
                 inefficient and prone to error and outright loss.
                 Moreover, the fact that these stories tend to be shared
                 only among practitioners means that many natural
                 scientists do not realize how interesting and lifelike
                 digital organisms are and how natural their evolution
                 can be. To our knowledge, no collection of such
                 anecdotes has been published before. This paper is the
                 crowd-sourced product of researchers in the fields of
                 artificial life and evolutionary computation who have
                 provided first-hand accounts of such cases. It thus
                 serves as a written, fact-checked collection of
                 scientifically important and even entertaining stories.
                 In doing so we also present here substantial evidence
                 that the existence and importance of evolutionary
                 surprises extends beyond the natural world, and may
                 indeed be a universal property of all complex evolving

Genetic Programming entries for Joel Lehman Jeff Clune Dusan Misevic Christoph Adami Julie Beaulieu Peter J Bentley Samuel Bernard Guillaume Beslon David M Bryson Patryk Chrabaszcz Nick Cheney Antoine Cully Stephane Doncieux Fred C Dyer Kai Olav Ellefsen Robert Feldt Stephan Fischer Stephanie Forrest Antoine Frenoy Christian Gagne Leni K Le Goff Laura M Grabowski Babak Hodjat Frank Hutter Laurent Keller Carole Knibbe Peter Krcah Richard E Lenski Hod Lipson Robert MacCurdy Carlos Maestre Risto Miikkulainen Sara Mitri David E Moriarty Jean-Baptiste Mouret Anh Quang Nguyen Charles Ofria Marc Parizeau David P Parsons Robert T Pennock William F Punch Thomas S Ray Marc Schoenauer Eric Schulte Karl Sims Kenneth O Stanley Francois Taddei Danesh Tarapore Simon Thibault Westley Weimer Richard A Watson Jason Yosinksi