One of the goals of this exercise would be to allow evolution to find the natural forms of complex parallel digital processes. Our parallel hardware is still too new for human programmers to have found the best way to write parallel software. And it is unlikely that human programmers will ever be capable of writing software of the complexity that the hardware is capable of running. Evolution should be able to show us the way.
It is hoped that this would lead to highly complex digital organisms, which obtain and process information, presumably predominantly about other digital organisms. As the complexity of the evolving system increases, the organisms will process more complex information in more complex ways, and take more complex actions in response. These will be information processing organisms living in an informational environment.
It is hoped that evolution by natural selection alone would lead to digital organisms which while doing no ``useful'' work, would none-the-less be highly sophisticated parallel information processing systems. Once this level of evolution has been achieved, then artificial selection could begin to be applied, to enhance those information processing capabilities that show promise of utility to humans. Selection for different capabilities would lead to many different breeds of digital organisms with different uses. Good examples of this kind of breeding from organic evolution are the many varieties of domestic dogs which were derived by breeding from a single species, and the vegetables cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts which were all produced by selective breeding from a single species of plant.