Rather than acting as a review or analysis of the field, this essay focuses squarely on the motivations for investigating open-endedness and the opportunities it opens up. It begins by contemplating the awesome accomplishments of evolution in nature and the profound implications if such a process could be ignited on a computer. Some of the milestones in our understanding so far are then discussed, finally closing by highlighting the grand challenge of formalizing open-endedness as a computational process that can be encoded as an algorithm. The main contribution is to articulate why open-endedness deserves a place alongside artificial intelligence as one of the great computational challenges, and opportunities, of our time.

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