ELECTRIC SHEEP, VISUAL CREATURES SPAWNED BY THOUSANDS OF COMPUTER WHILE THEY SLEEP

by Miryam Muller in ,


http://youtu.be/qVvoCAylypM Electric Sheep, not at all resembling the sheep we might conjure as we fall asleep, but these beautiful digital images spring to life when a computer drifts off to its screensaver slumber. But they’re more than just a randomized graphics program. Each Electric Sheep is the collective creation of thousands of computers around the world. The Electric Sheep shown in the pictures and videos below are a striking artistic demonstration of the creative powers of the Internet and open source sharing. By voting on sheep they find visually appealing, humans cause these virtual creatures to compete, procreate and evolve. What strange and beautiful results may arise as these visual creations become ever better examples of digital lifeforms?

The sheep are the creation of Scott Draves, and they’re the conceptual descendants of one of Draves’ earlier creations called Flames. While getting his PhD in computer science at Carnegie Melon he wrote an graphics algorithm to create fractal patterns by treating each pixel as a variable and by introducing parameters that numbered in the thousands. The original flames were created using plugins for Adobe Photoshop and AfterEffects. He published the algorithm online and, well, the Flames spread. Today the Flame algorithm is installed on millions of computers worldwide.

Read the complete article and view another video at Singularity Hub.