Evolutionary History Will Soon Be Written by Machines

Computers are increasingly being used to help us understan​d our origins, and writing the evolutionary history of life itself could soon be a joint effort between people and machines.

Paleontologists scour numerous journal articles to cobble together enough information about fossils to get a picture of life on earth at specific times. Developing macroevolutionary theory—how birds evolve​d from dinosaurs, for example—is a data-intensive endeavour dependent on how well researchers can aggregate and organize huge amounts of information from scattered sources.