Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) means different things to different people. We are explicitly targeting the development of true AI. That is, systems in which the intelligence is real, even while the medium is artificial. For example, we are creating robots and computational agents that can adaptively evaluate and appropriately respond to their environment, even under novel conditions not previously encountered. In order to develop the algorithms enabling these types of traits, we are successfully combining computational approaches with a deep understanding of how evolution has already created intelligence in biological systems (not just ‘bio-inspired’, but ‘bio-informed’). Our projects include: (1) testing the hypothesized role of variability selection in the evolution of adaptive and behavioral complexity, (2) investigating how environmental complexity drives the evolution of functional complexity and intelligence, (3) researching the role of environment-induced constraints on the emergence of social complexity, (4) using maze tasks to evolve effective and efficient mechanisms for memory and spatial learning, and (5) applying our advanced understanding of these mechanisms to create and deploy robust navigation and behavioral controllers in intelligent, responsive, autonomous robots that can solve real-world problems. Aspects of many of these projects are described in the Digital Evolution and Robotics portions of this site.

Evolution: discovering intelligent solutions to natural and engineering challenges.

Evolution: discovering intelligent solutions to natural and engineering challenges.