Computer Design Meets Darwin

Science  26 Sep 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5334, pp. 1931-1932
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5334.1931

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Some 50 researchers are pursuing the vision of the computer chip as a biological entity that can be set to evolve at electronic speeds through Darwinian natural selection. The process should yield a configuration of logic gates that perform a desired task, even if the programmer had little or no idea how to go about configuring the chip to begin with. Researchers have already used the technique to create simple proof-of-principle devices, but the ultimate endpoint for evolvable hardware--at least for the extreme technological optimists--is the creation of artificial intellects.