Stanford EE Computer Systems Colloquium

4:30 PM, Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Shriram Center for Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering Room 104

Lenia: Biology of Artificial Life

Bert CHAN Wang-Chak
Independent Researcher

In the field of Artificial Life, we use biochemistry, engineering and computer simulation to answer "what is life" and "what life could be". Starting from Conway's Game of Life, a famous discrete cell simulation, we tried to make everything smooth and continuous, and then something strange emerged. In this new system called "Lenia", we discovered lots of self-organizing, self-regulating dynamic patterns, look and behave much like microscopic life seen in biology class or plankton videos. More than just being amused, we investigated these creatures in details, performed computer experiments, classification, statistical analysis, and probed into the nature of such dynamic and complex system. We see possible links between Lenia, biological life, and artificial intelligence.


Slides for the talk in PDF format.


To access the live webcast of the talk (active at 16:28 of the day of the presentation) and the archived version of the talk, use the URL SU-EE380-20200108200108. This is a first class reference and can be transmitted by email, Twitter, etc.

A URL referencing a YouTube view of the lecture will be posted HERE a week or so following the presentation.

About the Speaker:

[speaker photo] I am a software/data engineer by day and an independent researcher at night. I've been making scientific infographics, designing typefaces, speculating on human evolution, etc. My recent project is Lenia, an artificial life (ALife) system that can produce nice computer graphics and deep philosophical questions. I'm working with various researchers in the academia/industry to further study Lenia, talk about ALife, and explore how ALife and AI could stimulate each other (contact me if you're interested!) More information about Lenia and myself at