An Overview of Open-Ended Evolution: Editorial Introduction to the Open-Ended Evolution II Special Issue

Norman Packard, Mark A. Bedau, Alastair Channon, Takashi Ikegami, Steen Rasmussen, Kenneth O. Stanley, Tim Taylor, Artificial life, 25 (2), 93-103 (2019).

Nature’s spectacular inventiveness, reflected in the enormous diversity of form and function displayed by the biosphere, is a feature of life that distinguishes living most strongly from nonliving. It is, therefore, not surprising that this aspect of life should become a central focus of artificial life. We have known since Darwin that the diversity is produced dynamically, through the process of evolution; this has led life’s creative productivity to be called Open-Ended Evolution (OEE) in the field. This article introduces the second of two special issues on current research in OEE and provides an overview of the contents of both special issues. Most of the work was presented at a workshop on open-ended evolution that was held as a part of the 2018 Conference on Artificial Life in Tokyo, and much of it had antecedents in two previous workshops on open-ended evolution at artificial life conferences in Cancun and York. We present a simplified categorization of OEE and summarize progress in the field as represented by the articles in this special issue.