PerspectiveComputer Science

Learning from Nature

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Science  11 Feb 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6018, pp. 682-683
DOI: 10.1126/science.1201003

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The tradition of biologically inspired computing extends back more than half a century to the original musings of Alan Turing about artificial intelligence and John von Neumann's early work on self-replicating cellular automata in the 1940s. Since then, computer scientists have frequently turned to biological processes for inspiration. Indeed, the names of major subfields of computer science—such as artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, and evolutionary computation—attest to the influence of biological analogies.