Darwin@Home - News, Announcement of Darwin@Home

Sent to the Biota List, Sunday January 9, 2005:

Subject: Biota reborn: Darwin@Home

After an extended outage (a crashed machine) the Biota list is restored! This is an exciting time as Biota is spearheading a major new global initiative:


For details see:
(thanks Gerald de Jong for the name and logo)

Darwin@Home is modeled on SETI@Home in that we hope to help several independent teams bring distributed evolutionary simulation to thousands (or millions) of computers and users worldwide. Picture screen savers that run while you are asleep (or awake) spending millions of computing cycles to serve the higher goal of testing the hypothesis: can lifelike evolutionary processes emerge within human technology (virtual space or even robot space)? And Darwin@Home platforms will be fun, allowing ordinary users to interact with the screen savers, creating creatures and environments, and pushing the development of the simulated ecosystems.

Biota has located several groups around the world which are building biologically-inspired evolving software systems. We will be helping those efforts by promoting them to a larger user base, offering them expert advice from a stellar board of advisors we are recruiting, and providing funding and other resources to team efforts. Darwin@Home partner DigitalSpace, working with NASA, is funding graduate student interns this Spring to create another "D@H" platform.

The Darwin@Home initiative is even planning to finance a prize in a few years, similar to the Ansari X-Prize or the DARPA Grand Challenge. This prize will further spur development of evolutionary software and robotics systems.

Darwin@Home will be announced: Wednesday January 12, 2005, 6pm
University of Southern California, Robert Zemeckis Center

Robert Zemeckis Center, USC

Darwin@Home will be announced during a talk given by Bruce Damer, of Biota.org and DigitalSpace, to be held at 6pm at the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts, Room 201. The Center is located at 3131 South Figueroa Street just north of the University of Southern California campus and next to the Shrine Auditorium. The Zemeckis center is described at:

The event is open to the public and you are invited to attend. The announcement will be made as part of a larger talk and demonstrations:
"Virtual worlds beyond games: From your street corner to the dunes of Mars".

We hope you will visit http://www.darwinathome.org and let us know what you think. The project is seeking all manner of volunteers for the project so don't hesitate to contact us by replying to this email.

Thank you all for hanging in with Biota during the leaner years following 2001. We are back and very excited about the new developments in the domain of digital biota!

All the best of the new year 2005!

Bruce Damer
Biota.org & The Contact Consortium

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