Electric Sheep is a free screensaver that lets your computer join a global network of computers processing "electric sheep"--striking, ever-changing, abstract fractal animations generated with a genetic algorithm (taking their name from the novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Philip K. Dick).
Your computer downloads and displays sheep from the current "flock" as your screensaver, while running in the background, your CPU contributes to the parallel computation and mutation of new sheep, joining thousands of other computers around the world. You can also vote on sheep with your up and down arrow keys to help guide how new flocks evolve. Electric Sheep now also has better compatibility with Snow Leopard, including support for multiple monitors--and you can set them up to render different sheep or the same sheep.
Electric Sheep works best with a broadband connection, and casual users might be frustrated by the app's setup, since it can take a long time to download the initial flock. (More sophisticated users can kick-start the process by manually downloading the current flock with BitTorrent--which unfortunately isn't integrated into the Mac client for Electric Sheep.)
Electric Sheep is a free, open source screen saver run by thousands of people all over the world. It can be installed on any ordinary PC or Mac. When these computers "sleep", the screen saver comes on and the computers communicate with each other by the internet to share the work of creating morphing abstract animations known as "sheep". The result is a collective "android dream", an homage to Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.
Anyone watching one of these computers may vote for their favorite animations using the keyboard. The more popular sheep live longer and reproduce according to a genetic algorithm with mutation and cross-over. Hence the flock evolves to please its global audience. You can also design your own sheep and submit them to the gene pool.