"Are you interested in new schools of architecture, new car designs, new computer algorithms, new inventions in general? And how about generating them ceaselessly? And with increasing complexity? Endless new forms of music and art, video game worlds that unfold forever without ever getting dull, universes that emerge inside your computer wholly unique and unlike anywhere else—the power of nature is the power of creation, and it’s entirely encapsulated within the mystery of open-endedness." - Open-endedness: The last grand challenge you’ve never heard of by Kenneth Stanley, Joel Lehman and Lisa Soros.
An open-ended system is a system that does not merely create solutions to problems, but also generates new problems. These systems do not engineer solutions to problems by optimizing for a specific outcome or objective, rather they generate solutions by perpetually tinkering - remixing old ideas, opportunistically keeping or discarding the results of their experiments and creating new problems in the process. Notable natural examples of open-ended systems include biological evolution and human technological innovation, but researchers have not been able to formalize the essential ingredients of an open-ended system and so far it has proven impossible for humans to sythesize a truly open-ended algorithm.
There is a field of computer science that studies evolutionary algorithms. Inspired by Darwinian evolution, you take a "population" of potential solutions to a problem ...
However, Stanley notes that current evolutionary algorityhms are no match for nature.
"Modern EAs simply don’t keep inventing new things you never imagined in perpetuity." - 📰 Open-endedness: The last grand challenge you’ve never heard of
Because human-designed evolutionary algorithms do not express the kind of open-ended creativity embodied in natural evolution, it suggests that something is lacking about our understanding of the evolutionary process.
"The whole story about selection, survival, fitness, competition, adaptation—it’s all very compelling and illuminating for analysis, but it’s a poor fit for synthesis: it doesn’t tell us how to actually write the process as a working open-ended algorithm." - 📰 Open-endedness: The last grand challenge you’ve never heard of
Conventional algorithms use an objective function (fitness function)
We still don't know how to trigger an open-ended complexity explosion.
Nature, an open ended process, created the human brain which created technological innovation etc which are open ended.
"Evolution better resembles a creative genius unleashed for countless millennia than it does a physical process. It is the greatest inventor of all time. Think about it computationally—evolution on Earth is like a single run of a single algorithm that invented all of nature." - Open-endedness: The last grand challenge you’ve never heard of. ^EvolutionIsACreativeGenius
"What are the minimum set of conditions that must be satisfied for a system to have the hope of exhibiting a high level of open-ended dynamics?" - Kenneth Stanley in Open-endedness: The last grand challenge you’ve never heard of.