The idea of intelligent machines has become part of popular culture, and t tracing the history of the actual science of machine intelligence reveals a rich network of cross-disciplinary contributions—the unrecognized origins of ideas now central to artificial intelligence, artificial life, cognitive science, and neuroscience.
Artificial Life is an interdisciplinary effort to investigate the fundamental properties of living systems through the simulation and synthesis of life-like processes. The young field brings a powerful set of tools to the study of how high-level behavior can arise in systems governed by simple rules of interaction.
Researchers in artificial life attempt to use the physical representation of lifelike phenomena to understand the organizational principles underlying the dynamics of living systems. The goal of the 1997 European Conference on Artificial Life is to provoke new understandings of the relationships between the natural and the artificial. Topics include self-organization, the origins of life, natural selection, evolutionary computation, neural networks, communication, artificial worlds, software agents, philosophical issues in artificial life, ethical problems, and learning and development.