Beazley Designs of the Year Digital
Scientists in artificial intelligence and molecular biology have teamed up to create the first entirely computer-designed organism: the Xenobot.
Made from living skin cells from frog embryos, these microscopic creatures can heal themselves after being cut and move towards a target.
An algorithm was trained to simulate cells in a virtual environment. It then detected whether the simulated organism could move. Those that could were taken forward to develop ‘child’ Xenobots; those that could not were removed from the programme.
This pathbreaking project raises fundamental questions about the ethics of evolutionary biology and AI.
Designed by Doug Blackiston, Josh Bongard, Sam Kriegman and Michael Levin.