07 - Riccardo Lardi postcard2

In Evolutionary Robotics, robots are being “grown” to solve specific problems within digital, simulated environments. But when they’re “bred” out of their virtual wombs and deployed in real life, such systems do not always behave as expected.

Digital simulations become hyper-sterile habitats for virtual, artificial creatures where they evolve and improve to eventually get promoted to excel in the real, physical world. What is the vocabulary to describe these “life-like” entities? When do things become alive and how do we assess aliveness?

“The Reality Gap” is a series of fictional learning environments for machines and a comment on the natural human reflex to anthropomorphise and empathically engage with artificial and abstract entities such as robots.