An evolving Twitter bot
Evolution requires mutation and selection. Offspring are slightly different from their parent(s), and the fittest are more likely to live and pass their genes on. And after many generations, you'll start to notice improvements for whatever is being selected for -- aka they are getting 'fitter' and 'fitter'. Giraffes got longer necks, moths changed color to blend in with trees, etc. But this process of mutation and selection can exist even in cases *outside* of living organisms.
Step 1: A random number ('DNA') is used to create an image
Step 2: Four copies of the original image are made with *slightly* modified 'DNA'
Step 3: Folks on Twitter vote for their favorite
Step 4: Four copies of the winning image are made with *slightly* modified 'DNA'
Step 5: Folks on Twitter vote for their favorite
Step 6: Four copies of the winning image are made with *slightly* modified 'DNA'
... and so on
What will we get at the end?
I'm not sure. Maybe the art will slowly but surely get more beautiful? Or maybe we'll figure out what the majority of voters' favorite color is? Or maybe it'll just be so random, or take so long, it'll be hard to notice a trend? But, hey, let's find out!
Isn't voting on 'how pretty something is' too fickle to drive evolution?
Maybe? This wouldn't be the first time that aesthetic preference has driven evolution. But will having random people voting for their favorite picture on twitter really lead us to something that seems prettier? I'm not sure!
I don't like pictures that look like sunsets
There's always the chance I could seed another work of art that uses a different algorithm to go from random numbers --> art.
Where does the name come from?
The names are a randomly generated string of six letters - followed by the generation number, then A, B, C, or D depending on which number offspring it is.
Who made the algorithm?
The algorithm for drawing the art came from Dan Gries at RectangleWorld. It takes a list of random numbers and turns it into a set of overlayed gradients. I thought they looked nice, and made a good kernel for this experiment.
A little test...
Suppose you had to pick your favorite. Who lives, who dies? (Not so easy, now, is it?)