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ALIFE XV ISAL Special Session on ALife and Society: Call for Papers

Submitted by tim on Tue, 16/02/2016 - 10:08am

ISAL Special Session on ALife and Society: Call for Papers

As part of this society-themed conference, the International Society for Artificial Life invites submissions for a special session on Artificial Life and its societal impact. We encourage relevant 2-page abstracts and full papers (8 pages) be submitted through the regular peer review process.

Many of the grand challenges that society faces are concerned with understanding, managing and indeed creating complex living, lifelike or hybrid systems at multiple scales. Conventional approaches have often been unsuccessful in dealing with the inherent non-linearity, adaptability and self-organised behaviours of these systems. In fact the underlying technologies often transform the involved organizations and society as a whole. New paradigms are clearly required and we believe that the ALife community can play a key role.

Artificial Life provides unique perspectives, tools and philosophies, which can offer approaches to understanding and intervening in complex systems. We also create new living, life-like and intelligent technologies from the cellular to the digital realm, playing a part in constructing the complex systems of the future. We wish to take this opportunity to collate ideas on our technologies and approaches and their possible societal contributions and impact.

New political, economic and social institutions are also needed to manage this emerging world, and the societal component of addressing these challenges requires participation and expertise from many quarters. ALife should enter into dialogue with the social sciences, arts and humanities as well as with stakeholders from practitioners to communities, in order to add our voice to the debate and contribute to the challenges which we all face.

We invite abstract and paper submissions to present new perspectives on this broad theme for an interactive and challenging session to frame ideas on ALife’s potential societal contribution and impact. In addition to, or in place of, simply presenting results, we particularly encourage speakers to act as provocateurs, suggesting new approaches, highlighting challenges and opportunities and asking key questions. Contributions are welcome from any domain and those bringing new perspectives from other fields or experience are encouraged to attend.

Formatting and submission instructions can be found here:

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Approaches, tools and philosophy from ALife-what can we offer society?
  • Synthetic ecology, living and life-like technology and bio-hybrid societies and systems
  • In which ways do the emerging living and intelligent technologies – spearheaded by information and communication technology - impact and transform our societies?
  • Developing novel institutions for managing multi-level living and intelligent systems
  • Adaptive management, whole-systems and complexity design approaches
  • Ethical and societal issues in manipulating complex systems
  • Conceptual, philosophical and technical issues in managing complex systems- key challenges, opportunities and methodologies
  • Societal involvement in managing complex systems: participatory and experiential approaches, narratives for understanding complexity, political processes, policy design and evaluation in the context of complex adaptive systems
  • Managing and understanding living or life-like systems: Case studies, experiments and models
  • Technical, philosophical and social implications of a “life-like” systems approach to societal issues - metaphor or more?
  • Designing interventions in complex systems and strategies for predicting, mitigating or adapting to unintended consequences of intervention
  • Other perspectives: approaches to managing complex adaptive systems from other domains, what can we learn?

Important dates

  • Paper/ abstract submission deadline: February 29th, 2016
  • Notification to authors: March 25th, 2016
  • Camera ready due: April 24th, 2016

Session organizers

  • Dr Alexandra Penn, University of Surrey
  • Prof Mark Bedau, Reed College
  • Prof Steen Rasmussen, University of Southern Denmark, Santa Fe Institute