Hybrid life - special sessions

How can we best understand life and cognition? How can we combine the results of different technological advances with natural organisms?

Organisers: Manuel Baltieri, Hiroyuki Iizuka, Keisuke Suzuki, Olaf Witkowski, Lana Sinapayen

ALife 2018 (Tokyo) & ALife 2019 (Newcastle) & & ALife 2020 (Montreal)

The main focus of ALife research is the study of natural systems with the goal of understanding what life is. More concretely, ALife defines ways to investigate processes that contribute to the formation and proliferation of living organisms. In 2018, we introduced the idea of a special session, Hybrid Life, as part of ALife 2018 conference in Tokyo, to focus on three common approaches used to tackle this investigation, proposing ways to integrate, extend and possibly improve them. More specifically we refer to: 1) the formalisation of the necessary properties for the definition of life, 2) the implementation of artificial agents, and 3) the study of the relation between life and cognition.

For this special session, then re-enacted at ALife 2019 (Newcastle) and ALife 2020 (Montreal), we proposed to start from these well-established Alife methodologies, and extend them through:

  • a unified formal language for the description and modelling of living, as well as artificial and cognitive systems, e.g. control theory, Bayesian inference, dynamical systems theory, etc.
  • the exploration of biological creatures enhanced by artificial systems (or artificial systems augmented with organic parts) in order to investigate the boundaries between living and nonliving organisms, and including work from bio-inspired robotics, human augmentation, synthetic biology, etc.
  • the evaluation of coupled biological-artificial systems that could shed light on the importance of interactions among systems for the study of living and cognitive organisms. This methodology welcomes contributions from the fields of human-agent interaction, animal-computer interaction, virtual / augmented reality systems, etc.

For more info: Hybrid Life III

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