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Creativity in Evolution: Individuals, Interactions and Environments

Tim Taylor

This chapter addresses the nature of open-ended evolutionary processes, and the related, but more subtle, issue of how fundamental novelty (i.e. creativity) can arise in such processes. A number of existing artificial evolutionary systems, such as Tierra, are analysed in this context, but it is found that the theoretical grounding upon which they are based does not usually consider all of the relevant issues for creative evolution. The importance of considering the design of the environment, and of interactions between individuals, as well as the design of the individuals themselves, is emphasised. The properties of a hypothetical ’proto-DNA’ structure — a suitable seed for an open-ended, and creative, evolutionary process—are discussed. A number of open questions relating to these issues are highlighted as useful areas of future research. Finally, a paradigm for an evolutionary process described by Waddington (1969) is described. It is suggested that this might represent a suitable starting place for a more unified and productive exploration of these issues using synthetic (artificial life) modelling techniques.

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Taylor, T. (2001). Creativity in Evolution: Individuals, Interactions and Environments. In P. J. Bentley & D. W. Corne (Eds.), Creative Evolutionary Systems (pp. 79–108).


  author = {Taylor, Tim},
  title = {Creativity in Evolution: Individuals, Interactions and Environments},
  booktitle = {Creative Evolutionary Systems},
  editor = {Bentley, Peter J and Corne, David W},
  chapter = {1},
  pages = {79--108},
  publisher = {Morgan Kaufmann},
  year = {2001},
  doi = {10.1016/b978-155860673-9/50037-9},
  category = {chapter},
  keywords = {creativity, oee}
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