“Creating Life-like Autonomous Agents for Real-time Interactive Installations” by Lachenmyer and Akasha

  • ©Nathan S. Lachenmyer and Sadiya Akasha



Entry Number: 21


    Creating Life-like Autonomous Agents for Real-time Interactive Installations



    This talk briefly describes the implementation of a complex virtual ecosystem of autonomous agents for the purpose of an art installation. The autonomous agents, called Aerobes, are inspired by the lifecycle of the Aurelia sp. jellyfish, and use artificial life techniques to simulate the behavior of two distinct types of organisms. We describe the process of using ethological research of organisms to design an artificial life system in a way that both creates a cohesive simulacrum of life-like behavior and allows for compelling interactions with audiences. We created complex behaviors for the Aerobes using low-level schemata that encapsulate individual goal-directed behaviors, and combined schemata to build behaviors that appear biomimetic. In order to give each agent the appearance of individuation, we mapped the underlying parameters of individual schemata and behaviors to personality traits to create a cohesive psychographic resource for autonomous agents that allowed for variance in decision-making and behaviors without additional computational complexity. The final artificial life system was then used to control the Aerobes in In Love With The World, a public art installation hosted at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall for four months.


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