Most of the programming examples we teach in an introductory programming course have all or most of their functions built in before run time. Things like accounting programs, databases, inventory programs, etc. But it's possible for programs to acquire (some of) their functions during the run, and completely without human intervention. This is, of course, a matter of degree. It's like heredity vs environment with humans.
Those functions that are acquired during run time can come into the system with the data input stream (including any performance evaluation inputs/utility measures). These functions may be spatial-temporal patterns seen in nature and learned by the program. Self-organizing systems would be a typical example of such a program as would be my Asa H, neural networks, and many other AI systems.