Researchers are designing robots with artificial intelligence that evolve on their own. The programmer sets a goal to be accomplished and then, generation after generation, successful traits are passed on to the next generation. The result is AI that evolves at an astonishing rate to complete the complex task or goal, without the guidance of a programmer. The process is called Neuro-evolution and University of Liverpool PhD student James Butterworth is conducting research into applying artificial intelligence to drones.

Here is an example of Super Mario neuro-evolution:

Another fascinating example:

Here is some recent work from James showing drones trying to maximally cover an area.

Music in the podcast is by Kai Engel