iSGTW - International Science Grid This Week
iSGTW - International Science Grid This Week

Home > iSGTW 08 August 2007 > iSGTW Image of the week: Electric sheep

Image of the week - Electric sheep

Computers running the Electric Sheep screen saver work together to create a morphing population of animations known as  “sheep.”
Image courtesy of Scott Draves and the Electric Sheep

Electric Sheep is a free, open source screen saver and an example of distributed computing, perhaps at its wierdest.

Computers running the Electric Sheep screen saver share results, working together to create morphing abstract animations, referred to as “sheep.”

Users vote for their favorite animations; the more popular sheep live longer, reproducing according to a genetic algorithm.

The electric “flock” hence evolves to please its global audience. Users can also design their own sheep for submission to the “gene pool.”

The result is billed as a collective “android dream,” homage to Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the book that birthed the sci-fi cult film Blade Runner.



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