The Life & Mind Seminar Network

CFP: Artificial Life 2016, Cancun, Mexico

Posted in CFP by Tom Froese on October 30, 2015

Hopefully we will be able to give the next instalment of this conference series an enactive flavour… there should be quite a few Life and Minders coming to present their work at this event!

Dear friends and Colleagues,

ALife 2016 will showcase a wide range of topics in Artificial Life, bringing together world-leading researchers to discuss the latest advances in Artificial Life. Topics include (but are not restricted to), Evolutionary Robotics, Synthetic Biology, Evolutionary Dynamics, Computational Biology, Systems Neuroscience, Bioethics, Evolutionary Programming, Genetic Algorithms, Biological Engineering, Dynamic Approaches to Cognition, Artificial Neural Networks, and more.

The ALife 2016 Program Committee invites the submission of papers describing your best work in Artificial Life and related fields. Given the interdisciplinary nature of our field, work in all of the spectrum of sciences and humanities is welcome, considering the main conference themes of simulation and synthesis of living systems.

The submission deadline for extended abstracts and full papers is February 14th, 2016. Each submission to ALife 2016 will be rigorously evaluated in a double blind review process. Full papers will be reviewed for relevance, scientific, engineering, and/or philosophical quality, sound methodology and use of appropriate analysis techniques. Extended abstracts will be reviewed for relevance and quality. Accepted contributions will be published by MIT Press in open online proceedings.

There are two options for submission: either full paper or extended abstract. Note that the format is the same for both options. The only difference resides in the number of pages and type of contents:

– Full papers have an 8-page maximum length and should report on new, unpublished work.
– Extended abstracts are limited to two pages and can report on previously published work, but offer a new perspective on that work.

Important dates:

Submission of papers or abstracts: February 16th, 2016
Notifications: March 25, 2016
Camera-ready versions April 24th, 2016

Please apply here:

Best regards

Dr. Carlos Gershenson

Reference request: autopoiesis and hurricanes, fire etc.

Posted in General by Nathaniel Virgo on September 7, 2015

I’m wondering if the readers of this blog can help me out with a reference request. I’m currently putting together a paper about the relationship between autopoiesis and dissipative structures, which is partly following on from conversations that took place on the pages of this blog several years ago. The point is that structures like hurricanes have many of the properties of an autopoietic system – they consist of a network of processes that maintain the system as a unity distinct from its environment, albeit with a blurry boundary – and that this has both practical and philosophical implications that we should pay attention to, especially if we’re enactivists who are interested in the origin of life.

My question is whether the issue of hurricanes (and/or related dissipative structures such as fire) has been directly addressed in previous literature. I’ve been having these discussions with people for years, and I don’t think the idea was exactly new when I started, so I’m interested in tracing its history. Is there anything in the work of Maturana and Varela or their contemporaries that directly addresses this issue? Or is there anything substantial that has been written about it more recently? If so it would be very valuable to know about it, so that I can cite it in my paper.

I would be particularly happy to find an explicit argument that hurricanes (or other dissipative structures) should not be considered as falling within the framework of autopoiesis, or the enactive paradigm more broadly.

Postdoctoral fellowships in interdisciplinary research relating to origins of life

Posted in Seminars by Nathaniel Virgo on June 15, 2015

Some life-and-minders might be interested in the following opportunities at ELSI in Tokyo. They are for research relating to origins of life, but all approaches are welcome and I know there are some readers of this blog whose research is very relevant.

The ELSI Origins Network (EON) announces the availability of post-doctoral research fellowships for research related to the Origins of Life. Ten two-year positions will be funded, to take place within the period 2016-2018.

Successful candidates will split their time between the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) in Tokyo and another institution of the candidate’s choice, anywhere in the world. The fellowship will pay a salary for two years, which covers the time spent at both locations, as well as a generous research budget. The positions will start on or before 1st April 2016.


Five postdoctoral fellowships in complex systems

Posted in Seminars by Tom Froese on June 3, 2015

There are five postdoctoral fellowships in complex systems available at the Center for the Sciences of Complexity in Mexico City. Topics could be related to artificial life and cognitive science. More information

Reports for the eSMCs project

Posted in Seminars by Ezequiel on April 20, 2015

The project eSMCs: Extending SensoriMotor Contingencies to Cognition (1/2011-12/2014, EU FP7-ICT-2009-6 no: 270212) has recently come to an end. You can find more information on the project website. Here I include the reports delivered by our research team. They summarize what was work-in-progress at the time of writing, most of which was later published. But also some bits that have not yet been published.

Barandiaran, X., Buhrmann, T. and Di Paolo, E. (2012). Deliverable D1.1: Interim report on eSMCs and embodiment.

Barandiaran, X., Beaton, M., Buhrmann, T. and Di Paolo, E. (2013). Deliverable D1.2: eSMCs and Embodied Cognition.

Beaton, M., Barandiaran, X., Buhrmann, T. and Di Paolo, E. (2014). Deliverable D1.5: Cognitive organisation for sustaining eSMCs.

Buhrmann, T., Di Paolo, E., Barandiaran, X., De Jaegher, H. (2015). Deliverable D1.6: Agency and eSMCs.

Beaton, M. and Di Paolo, E. (2015). Deliverable D1.7 Virtual Actions and eSMCs.


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