(a-life) The study of synthetic systems which behave like natural living systems in some way. Artificial Life complements the traditional biological sciences concerned with the analysis of living organisms by attempting to create lifelike behaviours within computers and other artificial media. Artificial Life can contribute to theoretical biology by modelling forms of life other than those which exist in nature. It has applications in environmental and financial modelling and network communications.
There are some interesting implementations of artificial life using strangely shaped blocks. A video, probably by the company Artificial Creatures who build insect-like robots in Cambridge, MA (USA), has several mechanical implementations of artificial life forms.
See also evolutionary computing, Life
[Christopher G. Langton (Ed.), "Artificial Life", Proceedings Volume VI, Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity. Addison-Wesley, 1989].
Santa Fe Institute (http://alife.santafe.edu/).
The Avida Group (http://krl.caltech.edu/avida/Avida.html).