Wednesday, August 20, 2008

About Development Tools

EVA is developped as an open source project. The major part of the source code is designed with the NanoScheme Language and requires no compiler nor specific developement tools. However, we encourage the use of a text editor with Lips editing capabilities such as Notepad++. For more information or to download this editor:

The EVA's core technology is designed using the Java language. The current implementation uses the SDK 1.4.2_02 version. You can have more information and download this software developement kit at:

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Matrix Oracle Demo

This is the first available on-line demo. Click here to launch the demo in your web browser. It is a simplified version of an interactive installation we have designed for last year's exhibition of our multimedia school in Paris. However, be patient since there are some images to load... A complete description of the installation has been published at the Virtual System and Multimedia conference last year (download the paper here). The virtual creature is an oracle in the "matrix", so she generaly answers in a pseudo-philosophical and enigmatic way to questions (like in the movie). This demonstration is based on a pure reactive implementation, that is without any "memory". This is the simplest way to implement an application with the EVA technology.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

EVA at the Entrepreneurship Exhibition in Paris

This is a photo of a demonstration of the EVA technology we have done during the Salon des Entrepreneurs (Paris, 6-7 February 2008). The interface was designed as an animated character using Flash and displayed on a large LCD screen. This virtual assistant was able to answer in natural language to visitors about the creation of new companies in the "Hauts-de-Seine" state (Conseil Général du département 92). Thanks to this result, the next version of the state website will include an online EVA agent called Alicia. This new website will be online in the begining of January 2009. More information soon.

Friday, June 27, 2008

EVA 5 Release 15

This is the first available EVA release for download. The Zip file contains a simple applet example and all the necessary source files for developing your own application. Click here to download this release. Note that there is no Java source file since it is absolutly not necessary nor recommended to modify the EVA core technology. However, you will find here a Java source example if you need to develop your own Chat client with EVA.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

An Avatar Factory for EVA

Gabriel Casbai and his team of IIM students have developed for EVA an "avatar factory". This prototype is designed using (Adobe) Flash and implements an interactive Genetic Algorithm. The principle is quite simple. The tool creates a population of avatars with different eyes, noses, hairs, etc. The user can then select some of these characters and the tool applies crossing-over and mutation operators on this selection. This results in a new generation of characters. When the user is satisfied by one of the proposed character, then he can export it as a Flash module which can be directly used as an animated 2D character interface with EVA.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Artificial Creatures – The Book

In January this year, I have published the book “Les Créatures Artificielles” (Odile Jacob, Paris). It covers the history, trends and perspectives of Artificial Creatures. I have written these 500 pages as a reference book covering both scientific and cultural aspects of this fascinating theme. From the erotic Galatee to the "Eve future", from the Golem to the Monster of Frankenstein, from the robots of Capek to Cameron's Terminator, from 2001's HAL computer to the AI agents in The Matrix, artificial creatures have always been present in our imagination. From the prehistorics paintings to the antic animated statues, from automata to advanced robots, from computer virus to AI, they have also peupled our reality. Anyone interested by automata, robots, cyborgs and, of course, virtual creatures, will find all the important information and references. Unfortunatly, for English-language readers, it is in French… But I hope that there will be an English translation in the short term.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

History of EVA versions

The current EVA architecture is the result of the project evolution rather than a single design thread. The initial version of EVA was developed as an application running on the Windows desktop environment, with most features “hard coded” in C++. The creature design was limited to a simple 3D face (left part of the image), inspired by Ken Perlin’s face demo project. The second version (2004) added a tiny Scheme interpreter for scripting the creature’s behaviors and Genetic Programming experiments (right part of the image shows an example of a 3D face in version 2). A description of this version has been published at the Intelligent Agent Technology conference in 2004. The third version (2006) was the first Java implementation of EVA. It introduced also the use of XML for coding knowledge bases. The fourth version (2007) provided a Multi-Agent architecture based on a small set of agents and a communication server. We conducted web mining experiments with this version. The last version (2008) is the most open and advanced architecture based on a swarm-like model.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Origin of EVA

I began to work on EVA (Evolutionary Virtual Agent) in the year 2000 while I was experimenting with the LifeDrop virtual ecosystem. The initial idea was to design a virtual creature that was not a simulation like in most artificial life research projects. In other words, I wanted to realize an artificial life rather than to simulate life. The computer is not (only) a tool to simulate and explore, but also an informational universe. The long term goal is to create digital “organisms” in the memories of computers, powered by their processors, evolving in an ecosystem made of operating systems and software applications. Another important idea was that the EVA technology must enable to design real-world applications. The name EVA was chosen because it is an archetypal symbol of sin and transgression against gods. In the Hebraic etymology, Eve (hawwà) is the "mother of all the living". It is also a symbol of freedom to choose liberty and a wish to increase human knowledge, especially technology, to improve the human condition.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Les Créatures Artificielles

Ouf!!! Enfin.... Absent de mon blog pendant plusieurs mois, je refais surface en cette nouvelle année. Il faut dire, qu'entre temps, les projets et le développement de l'Institut ont bien pris mon temps... Mais bientôt tout ce travail se concrêtisera, entre autres, par l'ouverture d'une salle de démonstration multimédia. J'en reparlerai bientôt... En attendant, l'actualité est celle de la publication de mon dernier livre sur l'histoire et les perspectives des créatures artificielles (près de 500 pages!). En guise de "teaser" voici le texte de la quatrième de couverture :
De l’érotique Galatée à l’Ève future, du Golem de glaise au corps rapiécé du monstre de Frankenstein, des robots de Capek au Terminator de Cameron, de l’ordinateur paranoïaque de Kubrick à l’agent Smith de Matrix, les créatures artificielles ont toujours peuplé notre imaginaire et alimenté fascinations et peurs.
Jean-Claude Heudin raconte leur histoire. Sur plus de deux mille ans, il en révèle toutes les dimensions, artistiques et mythiques aussi bien que scientifiques et techniques. Depuis les fresques rupestres et les statues animées antiques, les Jacquemarts et les automates des Lumières jusqu’aux robots-chiens de compagnie, aux héros virtuels des jeux vidéo, aux virus informatiques et aux intelligences artificielles d’aujourd’hui. Explorant aussi les tendances actuelles et les perspectives prochaines, il s'interroge : sommes-nous en passe de créer de la vie? Et laquelle?