Design, observation, surprise! A test of emergence

Artif Life. 1999 Summer;5(3):225-39. doi: 10.1162/106454699568755.


The field of artificial life (Alife) is replete with documented instances of emergence, though debate still persists as to the meaning of this term. We contend that, in the absence of an acceptable definition, researchers in the field would be well served by adopting an emergence certification mark that would garner approval from the Alife community. Toward this end, we propose an emergence test, namely, criteria by which one can justify conferring the emergence label.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Behavior*
  • Birds
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Terminology as Topic