I am professor of Artificial Intelligence on the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where I am leading the Computational Intelligence Group and visiting professor on the University of York, UK. My research lies in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Life, Adaptive Collective Systems. My approach to AI is based on Evolutionary Computing and over the last 30+ years I worked on a diverse set of topics.

For example, I worked on the theoretical foundations and applications in health, finance, and traffic management, built a system to evolve Mondriaan and Escher style art and exhibited it in the Haags Gemeentemuseum, researched how artificial societies can emerge in the computer through evolution and learning, invented and tested reproduction mechanisms that use more than two parents, studied how evolutionary processes can be (self-)calibrated, and lately I am active in Evolutionary Robotics.

Over these years I have developed a broad vision on artificial intelligence as a whole and a specific wiew for my own research. The fundamental insight behind my research is:

Given the fact that evolution can produce intelligence, it is plausible that artificial evolution can produce artificial intelligence.

My perspective is outlined in my Nature paper "From evolutionary computation to the evolution of things". Furthermore, I distinguish digital AI and embodied AI and I find embodied AI more challangenging and interesting, because it requires the development of both the brain and the body. This motivates my work on evolutionary robotics. One of the intriguing research questions is: If an environment and a task require some intelligent behavior, how to find an optimal body and an optimal brain?

Robot Evolution

Click to read more


TED Talk: Tech Kangaroos

Video of my TEDx Danubia talk “Tech Kangaroos: Evolution at Work”. It started off the publicity in 2011.

Read more
Robot baby is prime time news

The proverbial 15 minutes of fame on national television. (NOS journaal, Dutch)

Read more
A New Frontier of Artificial Life

Video of my talk at the HUB Berlin 2017 “The Robot Baby Project: a New Frontier of Artificial Life”.

Read more
Publication: Evolutionary reproduction of Dutch masters

A book chapter about the Mondriaan and Escher evolvers. Quote: “Systems using interactive evolution have proven capable of achieving creativity.”

Read more
Publication: Nature paper on the Evolution of Things

A paper in Nature discussing evolution in different substrates: wetware, software, and hardware

Read more
Technology news website TechCrunch on our project

“Robots date, mate, and procreate 3D printed offspring in ‘Robot Baby’ project”. TechCrunch notes the start of the Industrial Evolution.

Read more
Robot Baby Movie – indeed, the ‘making of’

Made for the Vrije Universiteit Science youtube channel, it introduces the team and gives insights into the Robot Baby Project.

Read more
Robot brain evolution explained on TV

VPRO TV series “De Volmaakte Mens” shows how e-puck robots get smarter by evolving their brains (English with Dutch subtitles)

Read more


Click to see them


I teach the courses Introduction to Business Analytics, Heuristics, Evolutionary Computing (see the VU Study Guide), and Computational Intelligence (see the UvA Study Guide). I also supervise Bachelor projects and Master Thesis projects.


My work covered in the media: TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, websites.

Click to see more


Head of the Computational Intelligence Group
Department of Computer Science
Faculty of Sciences
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
A: Room T3.41, de Boelelaan 1081a, 1081HV Amsterdam, Netherlands
E: a.e.eiben at vu.nl
T: +31-20-5987758
Secr: +31-20-5987782