• ALIFE Conference 2021 Info and Schedule

  • Schedule

    Schedule details this Tue Jul 20, 15:00-17:00 CEST:

    Session chair: Olaf Witkowski, co-chair Bill Duane


    15:00-15:10 CEST
    10 min
    Speaker: Elizaveta Solomonova


    15:10-15:30 CEST
    20 min (15 + 5 Q&A)
    Speaker: Thomas Doctor
    Can Being Aware of the Illusion of Self Augment an Agent’s Affordances: Integrating Buddhist Philosophy, Cognitive Science, and Artificial Life


    15:30-15:50 CEST
    20 min (15 + 5 Q&A)
    Speaker: Jesús Siqueiros
    You, Robot. Empathy in a Hybrid World


    15:50-16:10 CEST
    20 min (15 + 5 Q&A)
    Speaker: Carlos Gershenson
    On the Scales of Selves: Information, Life, and Buddhist Philosophy


    16:10-16:30 CEST
    20 min (15 + 5 Q&A)
    Ana Cristina Lopes
    Monks, Labs, Cyborgs: the Plasticity of Personhood in Tibetan Buddhism


    16:30-17:00 CEST
    30 min (25 + 5 Q&A)
    Elena Antonova
    Neural Correlates of Mindfulness

  • Call for Papers for the Illusions Of Self: Beyond Human, Animal and Robot Special Session

    Session Description

    This special session aims at fostering research contributions and discussions on the topic of illusions of self in natural and artificial agents—including humans, animals, and robots.

    Developments in fields such as robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality make it possible for us to act in the world through the instrument of so-called artificial agents and immersive environments. Such developments challenge common intuitions about what is near and far, valuable and insignificant, real and unreal. Our closest and most trusted companions are often no longer strictly human, or members of a few select animal species. Instead, they emerge in a spectrum that includes a wide array of technology, digital and embodied, bots and robots.

    But while technology evolves rapidly, we are yet to cultivate mature ways of employing our technological means wisely. We need skill and understanding to live caring and meaningful lives while at the same time participating in networks that continually challenge our very sense of what is real. Interestingly, some of humanity's ancient spiritual traditions focus on the cultivation of exactly such ability. As one example, influential Buddhist philosophies regard object-agent frameworks as dream-like and virtual. Such a view, they claim, does not cause disengagement from the world, but rather can be empowering, enabling moral responsibility and promoting care.

    As accentuated by emerging technology, our perceptions of ourselves, each other, and the world are dynamic and interactive, and our individuality is in this way emergent rather than essential. This special session explores spectra of emergent selves. We encourage questions as to whether, or in which ways, the world’s philosophical, contemplative, or religious heritages might help us develop more fulfilling and reliable interfaces between biology and machine, the natural and the virtual. We also invite reflections on how wisdom traditions challenge the existing approaches to technologies and, vice versa, how developments in artificial life and in robotics problematize long-standing philosophical and scientific views of selfhood and agency.

    This special session is intended as part of a long-term effort, tying up with the work of the organizers at the Center for the Study of Apparent Selves (CSAS). A multidisciplinary hub for science, philosophy, and contemplative approaches, CSAS was recently established in Kathmandu, Nepal, through a research grant provided by the Diverse Intelligences initiative of the Templeton World Charity Foundation. Current work at CSAS is focused on distilling synergistic value between Buddhism and AI. We invite contributions from all relevant fields and subfields, including but not limited to:

    ● Animal-robot interaction, animal VR
    ● Art, education, and society
    ● Artificial perception and cognition
    ● Augmented cognition
    ● Autopoiesis, enactivism, autonomy
    ● Bio-inspired, cognitive and evolutionary robotics
    ● Cognitive and developmental robotics
    ● Cognitive science and psychology
    ● Complex dynamical systems and networks
    ● Computational humanities
    ● Cooperation models, collective intelligence
    ● Ecological, social, economical and cultural dynamics
    ● Embodied, human-machine interaction
    ● Interactions between in silico/in vitro/in vivo experiments, living technologies, life-mind continuity, integration of biological, artificial and cognitive systems
    ● Philosophy of mind, ethics, and epistemology

    Important Dates


    7th March 2021 – Paper submission deadline

    25th April 2021 – Paper acceptance notification

    16th May 2021 – Camera-ready version

    19th-23rd July 2021 – Artificial Life conference (ALife), Prague, Czech Republic

    Submission Format

    From https://www.robot100.cz/call-for-papers - please see this site for specific formatting requirements and for submission instructions.


    There are two options for submission: either full paper or extended abstract. Note that the format is exactly the same for both options. The 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 a 2-page length and can report on previously published work.
    Please see the author guidelines below for detailed instructions and manuscript templates.
    All submissions will undergo a detailed peer review process. Full papers will be reviewed for timeliness, novelty, scientific quality, sound methodology and use of appropriate analysis techniques. Abstracts will be reviewed for timeliness, novelty, and quality.
    Both papers and extended abstracts will be considered for oral or poster presentation, without distinction between full papers and extended abstracts.
    Accepted papers and extended abstracts will be published by MIT Press as open-access electronic proceedings.


    Questions about the session topic are welcome at papers@csas.ai. Questions about formatting are welcome at 2021alife@gmail.com