There was some excellent stuff presented, including the keynotes by Sebastian Thrun and Risto Miikkulainen, and some individual papers, such as a simple but ingenious co-evolutionary algorithm by Thomas Miconi.
As usual, there was also a lot of "noise" - it is astonishing how many papers are presented that, while not being technically incorrect, makes insignificant progress on insignificant topics, and just makes you wonder why. Why did anyone care to write these papers, and then travel far away to present them to not very interested audiences? Because the authors didn't have any better research ideas, and desperately needed to lengthen their publication lists in order to get their PhDs / obtain funding / get tenure etc.? Probably.
As Philip Ball notes in his book Critical Mass, more than half of all scientific papers don't get cited at all, except by their authors. Makes you think. (And no, I haven't had that many citations either - yet...)
Anyway, back to the conference. It all started out with a quite amusing keynote by Robert Hecht-Nielsen, who presented an "Architecture of cognition",
My own talk received fairly good feedback, and I had some stimulating discussions, including some industry people. I'm looking forward to PPSN, though, where the format of the presentations is more focused on interaction.