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SB-AI at ALIFE 2014 : What can Synthetic Biology offer to (Embodied) Artificial intelligence? SB-AI 2014 (SATELLITE WORKSHOP AT ALIFE14)


When Jul 28, 2014 - Aug 2, 2014
Submission Deadline TBD
Categories    synthetic biology   artificial intelligence   philosophy of science   (COGNITIVE) ROBOTICS

Call For Papers

What can Synthetic Biology offer to
(Embodied) Artificial Intelligence?
SB-AI 2014
Satellite Meeting at ALIFE 2014 (30 July – 2 August 2014)
Javits Center / SUNY Global Center – New York, USA

The emergence of the “embodied approach” in the cognitive sciences and AI increasingly focuses the investigations in these fields on the role(s) played by the body’s self-production and bodily interactions in cognition. This re-integration of the biological body in the scientific study of cognition, directed towards overcoming the Cartesian dichotomy characterizing classical cognitive science and AI, is progressing while significant advancements in the biological sciences are taking place.
One of the most notable is the development of Synthetic Biology (SB), a research area dedicated to the synthesis and assembly of biological parts, systems and/or processes to modify extant biological cells, or, in the most ambitious cases, to build synthetic cells. The constitution of this new field offers to the scientific community a new way of exploring the role played by the body in cognitive process: extending AI research within the domain of experimental biology, i.e., assigning to SB the task of building and experimentally studying minimal synthetic models of cognitive systems and processes.
The workshop “What can Synthetic Biology offer to (Embodied) Artificial Intelligence? SB-AI 2014” follows the first edition, hold in Taormina, Sicily, as an ECAL 2013 satellite workshop (September, 6 2013)
SB-AI 2014 is directed towards the creation of an highly interdisciplinary community able of critically discuss, fruitfully correlate and programmatically improve the emergent research programs involving cooperation between SB and AI in the exploration of cognitive processes. The main idea is that of promoting the interaction between experimental research and theoretical and/or epistemological reflection, and the emergence of a strongly interdisciplinary front line in SB, AI, philosophy of science and related fields that cooperatively tackle issues as the following:
• Can SB constructively explore the embodied cognition and intelligence through the constitution of biological systems and phenomena? If yes, how? In which conditions and in what ways could this exploration positively contribute to AI research? That is: What can SB offer to AI?
• Which are the groundings, the procedures, the expected results and the impacts of current research programs involving SB in AI research?
• Can SB support the structuring process of an effective Embodied Approach to the cognitive sciences and AI? Why and how?
• Can we at the present time plan concrete collaborations between computer science, robotics and SB in the scientific study of natural forms of intelligence? How?
• Can SB contribute to the development of new forms of cognition alternative to the ones we know?
• …
This second edition of the SB-AI workshop intends to bring together contributions related to these questions, and investigating one or more aspects of the (possible/actual) relationships between SB and AI. The workshop will be divided in two parts: a first part dedicated to the presentation of these contributions, and the second one dedicated to a structured discussion, aiming at constituting a productive dialogue among the different specialists involved, in order to allow them to cooperate in the critical improvement of the projects and the ideas presented during the talks.

Call for Abstracts
We are accepting abstracts for presentation at the workshop. Submissions will be peer reviewed by members of the Program Committee.
Please, submit via e-mail ( a short abstract (min 600, max 800 words) as a pdf file by April, 30, 2014. We plan to send out the notification of acceptance by May, 30, 2014.
A selection of the best contributions will be published in a dedicated Special Issue of the journal BioSystems (Elsevier), together with contributions from the first edition (hold in Taormina - ECAL 2013). More information about the BioSystems Special Issue will be available soon.

Important dates
• Paper submission: April, 30, 2014.
• Author notification: May, 30, 2014.
• Registration: June 13 (for early rates), see Alife 14 conference registration.
• Workshop date: July 30 or 31, 2014 (to be confirmed).
• Full-paper submission for BioSystems Special Issue: September, 30, 2014.

• Luisa Damiano, Center for Research on Complex Systems (CERCO), Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Bergamo, Italy (;
• Yutetsu Kuruma, Earth and Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan (
• Pasquale Stano, Science Dept., University Roma 3, Rome (

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