Based on a task, an AI underwent evolution in under 30 seconds. The result is a purple lump that can move independently.
As in every previous century, humanity is currently facing challenges. Compared to previous generations, we have gigantic computing power at our disposal to solve the problems. Technologies based on artificial intelligence in particular promise solutions.
Researchers from Northwestern University have also recognized this. They gave an algorithm a simple task. AI should design a robot that can walk. After just a few seconds, the system spat out a solution that bears no resemblance to any structures ever researched. Because it is a purple lump.
Artificial intelligence completes evolution in 26 seconds
Using strangely shaped legs and air, the structure moves forward on its own. The researchers describe the clump’s development as evolution, which occurred in just a few seconds. Because the first version looked like a bar of soap and therefore couldn’t cover any distance.
But with the almost infinite knowledge of an artificial intelligence, the system further developed the first version and went through various theoretical forms. In the end, the lump was created, which the researchers printed on a silicone base using a 3D printer. In total, the evolution in the algorithm took around 26 seconds.
AI design decisions open up new possibilities
But the end result also revealed some amazing design decisions. The lump not only has misshapen legs, but also irregularly spaced holes on the back. The researchers don’t know why, but removing these holes meant that movement was no longer possible.
The team emphasizes that AI systems can already provide input rather than suggesting novel structures. As a result, advanced robots and buildings could emerge that differ from today’s designs. So the next stage of evolution could take place in computers.