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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the possibility of instilling a virtual world with mechanisms for evolution and natural selection in order to generate rich ecosystems of complex organisms in a process akin to biological evolution. Some previous work in the area is described, and successes and failures are discussed. The components of a more comprehensive framework for designing such worlds are mapped out, including the design of the individual organisms, the properties and dynamics of the environmental medium in which they are evolving, and the representational relationship between organism and environment. Some of the key issues discussed include how to allow organisms to evolve new structures and functions with few restrictions, and how to create an interconnectedness between organisms in order to generate drives for continuing evolutionary activity.

Keywords: evolution, self-reproduction, ecosystem, virtual organism, environment, interconnectedness, artificial life

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