Generative systems are technologies with the overall capacity to produce unprompted change driven by large, varied, and uncoordinated audiences. When generative systems provide a common platform, changes may occur at varying layers (physical, network, application, content) and provide a means through which different firms and individuals may cooperative indirectly and contribute to innovation.
Depending on the rules, the patterns can be extremely varied and unpredictable. One of the more well-known examples is Conway's Game of Life, a cellular automaton. Another example is Boids. More examples can be found in generative music, generative art, and, more recently, in video games such as Spore.
- Zittrain, Jonathan (May 2006). "The Generative Internet". Harvard Law Review. JSTOR 4093608.
- Robin Teigland; Dominic Power (25 March 2013). The Immersive Internet: Reflections on the Entangling of the Virtual with Society, Politics and the Economy. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 205. ISBN 978-1-137-28302-3.
- A talk on generative systems by Will Wright and Brian Eno for the Long Now Foundation
- The Future of the Internet and How to Stop it; Yale University Press (2008)
- Early generative computer graphics by Herber W. Franke
- Generative System by Benedikt Gross
- Bugworld - a generative vermin installation by Philipp Sackl, Markus Jaritz & Thomas Gläser