AI, Evolution, and the Benefits of Variation

From Natural Selection Favors AIs Over Humans:

In static environments, variation is not as useful. But in most real-world scenarios, where things are constantly changing, variation reduces vulnerability, limits cascading errors, and increases robustness by decorrelating risks. Farmers have long understood that planting different seed variations decreases the risk of a single disease wiping out an entire field, just as every investor understands that having a diverse portfolio protects against financial risks. In the same way, an AI population that includes a variety of different agents will be more adaptable and resilient and therefore tend to propagate itself more.

I don’t follow this analogy: in the case of seeds, there is variation because the farmer intentionally creates variation. But who is creating variation in the case of AIs? Are we picturing two separate AI populations, one of which has greater variation, and is therefore more likely to propagate widely? But in virtue of what do we treat them as two separate populations and not just one?

August 18, 2023