Meet your new virtual pets
Have online cat videos become a tad too predictable? Is your dog starting to bore you with the same old tricks? Soon you might be able to find new, entertaining alternatives in the virtual world.
In his Post doc. project at the IT University of Copenhagen, Dan Lessin is developing evolved virtual creatures – intelligent artificial beings with new behaviours.
Evolved virtual creatures develop through simulated evolution. This process involves testing the creatures, giving them fitness scores, and selecting the best performing ones for breeding or mutation. Over time, they become like entirely new species who move and act in unpredictable ways – just like real physical beings. These novel beings might eventually replace people or animals in entertainment and games.
In a recent article for the robotics site Robohub.org, Dan Lessin explains the advances in bringing evolved virtual creatures closer to being just as fun and inventive as non-virtual beings: robohub.org/evolved-virtual-creatures-as-content/
Dan Lessin’s research builds on the work of Karl Sims, who in the mid-nineties developed a new way to create simple but compelling beings using artificial evolution.
Watch Dan explain what evolved virtual creatures are, and how they can be used: