Invention Machine

Posted on May 3, 2006  Comments (2)

John Koza Has Built an Invention Machine by Jonathon Keats:

Now 62 and an adjunct professor at Stanford University, Koza is the inventor of genetic programming, a revolutionary approach to artificial intelligence (AI) capable of solving complex engineering problems with virtually no human guidance. Koza’s 1,000 networked computers don’t just follow a preordained routine. They create, growing new and unexpected designs out of the most basic code. They are computers that innovate, that find solutions not only equal to but better than the best work of expert humans. His “invention machine,” as he likes to call it, has even earned a U.S. patent for developing a system to make factories more efficient, one of the first intellectual-property protections ever granted to a nonhuman designer.

Yet as impressive as these creations may be, none are half as significant as the machine’s method: Darwinian evolution, the process of natural selection. Over and over, bits of computer code are, essentially, procreating. And over the course of hundreds or thousands of generations, that code evolves into offspring so well-adapted for its designated job that it is demonstrably superior to anything we can imagine.

Great article from Popular Science magazine.

Home Page of John R. Koza. His latest book: Genetic Programming IV: Routine Human-Competitive Machine Intelligence by John R. Koza, Martin A. Keane, Matthew J. Streeter, William Mydlowec, Jessen Yu and Guido Lanza.

Previous posts on popular science articles: Bannanas Going Going Gone and Colored Bubbles.

2 Responses to “Invention Machine”

  1. CuriousCat: Donald Knuth - Computer Scientist
    May 23rd, 2006 @ 7:34 am

    “Its subject, combinatorial algorithms, or computational procedures that encompass vast numbers of possibilities, hardly existed when Knuth began the series. Now the topic grows faster than anyone could reasonably chronicle it. “He says if everyone else stopped doing work he would catch up better,” deadpans Jill Knuth, his wife of nearly 45 years…”

  2. CuriousCat: Evolutionary Design
    July 28th, 2007 @ 12:58 pm

    “Evolutionary Algorithms take two parent designs – for a boat hull, say – and blend components of each, perhaps taking the surface area of one and the curvature of another, to produce multiple hull offspring that combine the features of the parents in different ways…”

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