European researchers have been working for years on a system that allows developers to create internet applications that can manage and fix themselves. Called SELFMAN, the project aims to address the challenges inherent in large scale applications. According to Peter Van Roy, project coordinator, “The central challenge when you build big internet applications is how to keep them running without having to tweak and manage them all the time. We wanted to make big internet applications easy, so that all the management problems you normally have are handled by the system itself. It will take the internet to the next level.”
When I read this I couldn’t help but think of The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson where nano technology has advanced to the point where these tiny microbes evolve “organically.” I think it would be interesting if apps and algorithms got to the point where they began to evolve organically.