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Improving the Approach

At the start of this thesis I stated that my grand research interest was in the synthesis of artificial life. However, the lack of a precise definition of life soon forced me to focus on narrower, more well-defined goals. In particular, most of the work reported has been concerned with self-reproduction and evolution. In this section I will summarise what I regard as the most important lessons learned from this work, and talk about how they may help in improving the methodology of the approach. I will then suggest some ways in which the study of open-ended evolution by computer simulation may be beneficially extended. Finally, I will reconsider the original goal of creating artificial life, and suggest how the study of more specific issues (such as open-ended evolution) may help us to achieve a better understanding of the fundamental nature of life.


Tim Taylor