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EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium presents "Lenia: Biology of Artificial Life"

Lenia: Biology of Artificial Life
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 4:30pm
Shriram 104
Bert Wang-Chak Chan
Abstract / Description: 

In the field of Artificial Life, we use biochemistry, engineering and computer simulation to answer "what is life" and "what life could be". Starting from Conway's Game of Life, a famous discrete cell simulation, we tried to make everything smooth and continuous, and then something strange emerged. In this new system called "Lenia", we discovered lots of self-organizing, self-regulating dynamic patterns, look and behave much like microscopic life seen in biology class or plankton videos. More than just being amused, we investigated these creatures in details, performed computer experiments, classification, statistical analysis, and probed into the nature of such dynamic and complex system. We see possible links between Lenia, biological life, and artificial intelligence.


I am a software/data engineer by day and an independent researcher at night. I've been making scientific infographics, designing typefaces, speculating on human evolution, etc. My recent project is Lenia, an artificial life (ALife) system that can produce nice computer graphics and deep philosophical questions. I'm working with various researchers in the academia/industry to further study Lenia, talk about ALife, and explore how ALife and AI could stimulate each other (contact me if you're interested!) More information about Lenia and myself at