The Art of Artificial Evolution - book preface

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Juan Romero and Penousal Machado: The Art of Artificial Evolution - book preface. In: Juan Romero; Penousal Machado: The Art of Artificial Evolution: A Handbook on Evolutionary Art and Music. Springer, Berlin, 2007, S. VII-XII.



"Art is the Queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world" Leonardo da Vinci

Artistic behavior is one of the most valued qualities of the human mind. Although artistic manifestations vary from culture to culture, dedication to artistic tasks is common to all. In other words, artistic behavior is a universal trait of the human species.

The current, Western definition of art is relatively new. However, a ded- ication to artistic endeavors — such as the embellishment of tools, body or- namentation, or gathering of unusual, arguably aesthetic, objects — can be traced back to the origins of humanity. That is, art is ever-present in human history and prehistory.

Art and science share a long and enduring relationship. The best-known ex- ample of the exploration of this relationship is probably the work of Leonardo da Vinci. Somewhere in the 19th century art and science grew apart, but the cross-transfer of concepts between the two domains continued to exist. Currently, albeit the need for specialization, there is a growing interest in the exploration of the connections between art and science.

Focusing on computer science, it is interesting to notice that early pioneers of this discipline such as Ada Byron and Alan Turing showed an interest in using computational devices for art-making purposes. Oddly, in spite of this early interest and the ubiquity of art, it has received relatively little attention from the computer science community in general, and, more surprisingly, from the artificial intelligence community.

In the initial years of artificial intelligence research the main source of inspiration was human intelligence. Recently, this traditional, somewhat an- thropocentric, view of intelligence has given rise to the search for other po- tential sources of inspiration. There is a growing interest in biology-inspired computing techniques, a broad area of research that incorporates techniques such as evolutionary computation, swarm intelligence, ant colony optimiza- tion, and artificial life. These techniques offer a wide range of solutions and opportunities, for scientists, who have always made an effort to understand and model nature, and for artists, who have always used nature as a source of inspiration. The use of a metaphor that is relevant for scientists and artists helps to bridge the gap between the scientific and artistic communities, and fosters the collaboration and transfer of knowledge between the two domains. ...

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