GHOST IN THE MACHINE
Artificial life seeks to unravel the mysteries of life and mind, to naturalise the “ghost in the machine” . What is life? What is the mind? Are these two concepts related?
These ghosts are however elusive, and difficult to identify or even just define at times. To try and learn more about the mind, research in artificial life and other related fields has more recently focused on studies of complexity, emergence,agency, autonomy, or information theory. As a results, this has led to major advancements in robotics, synthetic biology and artificial intelligence, among others. The main research programs in these areas however seem to be simply forgetting about the mind, rather than trying to explain it.
At the same time, with the advent of new technologies such as brain-machine interface, cyborgization, virtual/augmented reality and the metaverse, the boundaries between agents/living organisms and their environment have began fluctuating. Minds are no longer in our (living organism) shells, expanding beyond current spatial boundaries and into a new form of the “extended mind” hypothesis. At ALIFE 2023, we will bring back the focus to studies of the mind, facing the challenges and embracing the opportunities that come with studies of an often neglected but ever so important concept in both artificial life research and our daily lives.