Universal Acid in the Computer Chip: Music, Memetics and Metacreation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Universal Darwinism (UD) (Plotkin, 1995) holds that the “evolutionary algorithm” (Dennett, 1995, pp. 50–52) operates across the interconnected realms of a “recursive ontology” (Velardo, 2016) that binds together all that exists. Indeed, UD maintains that all phenomena in the universe are emergent properties of Darwinian processes of variation, replication and selection. If true, an evolutionary view of culture must take priority over more “creationist” accounts that rely upon the mysterious intercession of inspiration and imagination and the supposed conscious agency of the composer (or programmer). Accepting the logic of UD it follows that computer-generated music (CGM) must in some senses be explainable by evolutionary precepts. The most widely accepted (and critiqued) theory of the operation of UD in culture, memetics, arguably has significant explanatory power for human-generated music (HGM). This paper explores how AIMC can be understood in its light, even when the outputs of generative systems seem far removed from the structural norms, aesthetic values and sound-worlds, of HGM.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd Conference on AI Music Creativity
Subtitle of host publicationAIMC 2022
PublisherAI Music Creativity
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2022
Event3rd Conference on AI Music Creativity - Online, Online
Duration: 13 Sep 202215 Sep 2022
Conference number: 3


Conference3rd Conference on AI Music Creativity
Abbreviated titleAIMC 2022
Internet address


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