Why Are Genetic Algorithms Useful?
The usefulness of Genetic Algorithms is twofold. First, it automates the invention process. We no longer need to wait for a genius to have an ephipany to find some sort of novel solution to a problem; a powerful enough computer and a healthy amount of time, with a good Genetic Algorithm will be able to accomplish the same thing. Since Genetic Algorithms are basically a method to optimize something, it is also especially good at finding the most effective way to accomplish a very complex task, such as scheduling or factory organization, which humans have trouble with as the factory or schedule becomes bigger and bigger. Secondly, because it finds solutions not based on intuition and logic, but uses the method of natural selection, it can create solutions that are unimaginable to the human mind, like the model antenna on the right, and are more effective than any human solutions are. Secondly, it is better than other hill-climbing algorithms because it finds global optimizations rather than local optimizations (because of mutations), and it does so at a relatively fast speed.
Most importantly, however, Genetic Algorithms are one of many attempts to make computers more intellegent, As artifical intellegence comes closers and closer to human intellegence, one hopes that humanity's understanding of its own mind and consciousness, as well as the source of our intellegence, will become deeper.