Call for papers: Cognition and computation

Special Issue on Cognition and Computation
Italian Journal of Cognitive Sciences

Deadline for submissions: July 31th, 2017
Notification of acceptance: October 15th, 2017

One of the founding ideas of cognitive science is that cognition is essentially computation. From the very start, many have denied this view, but in recent times computationalism has increasingly come under attack from several different fronts.

From a quick glance at the current cognitive science scenario, one comes away with the impression that several of the criticisms raised against the computational view of mind, rather than leading to the abandonment of computationalism altogether, have instead served to advancing it in several respects. The aim of this call is to collect reflections regarding this scenario.

Submissions should adhere to the following guidelines:

Articles should be submitted in blind review format. Please omit any self–identifying information within the abstract and body of the paper. Max length: 35.000 characters (including spaces, references and an abstract of no more than 150 words). Please use the APA citation style for references.

Language: English

Guest Editor: Alessio Plebe

Submissions should be sent via e-mail to: aplebe[at]

Important dates:

Deadline for submissions: July 31th, 2017
Notification of acceptance: October 15th, 2017

 Read the call.

A better way to test for consciousness?

ConsScale Pyramid

No doubt we need better ways to test for consciousness, as much as we need better definitions. From the point of view of science, Consciousness is a controversial and quite elusive phenomenon and trying to build good tests is actually a crucial part of the quest to understand it. Assessment and definition are always inseparable (otherwise, we wouldn’t know what we are testing).

Effectively testing for consciousness in humans is something we take for granted, specially when we put our trust in anesthesiologists right before going into surgery, or when ER physicians perform a Glasgow coma test to assess the level of consciousness of a patient. Assessing the level of consciousness in human subjects is usually a non problematic or challenging task (except from locked-in syndrome patients and the like). However, when we consider the vast number of other sorts of organisms, such as other animals, plants and machines things get much more complicated. The problems is essentially the same for all creatures, and scientifically speaking it involves the very same problem. However, there is a huge difference when we speak about humans: for humans we do assume consciousness as a legitimate feature of the living organism.

So, what do we do if we want to come up with a universal test for consciousness? One that might be applicable to virtually any creature possible, including biological organisms, artificial machines or cyborgs? What features or what measurements do we need to do? In other words, what is consciousness made of, so we can measure it?

ConsScale Summary

As neatly described by Musser in his aeon essay (Consciousness Creep. Our machines could become self-aware without our knowing it) we are making efforts, and hopefully some progress, into building new ways to test for consciousness. ConsScale is an example of this quest for both understanding and measuring consciousness.

Musser presents in his essay several of the tests that have been recently proposed, explaining the vision and position of the authors, including my own. It’s interesting to see how different approaches for testing imply different assumptions about what consciousness is. Tononi’s approach is based on the Information Integration theory, ConsScale is based on cognitive development, Haikonen stresses the importance of inner talk, Schwitzgebel raises the question of consciousness in groups (super-organisms). Perhaps we need to look for a new approach able to deal with all these aspects within the same framework.

AGI – Artificial General Intelligence 2013

AGI 2013 – Artificial General Intelligence 2013 – Beijing, July 31 – Aug 3 2013: Call for Papers

It is our great pleasure to remind you about the Sixth Conference on Artificial General Intelligence, which will be held in Beijing, China, this upcoming summer.   The deadline for paper submission is coming up fairly soon — March 1.  Details about the conference follow.

* Date and Website *

July 31, 2013 – August 3, 2013, Beijing, China

Conference Website:

* Mission *

The AGI conference series ( is the premier international forum for cutting-edge research focusing on the original goal of the AI field — the creation of thinking machines with general intelligence at the human level and ultimately beyond. The AGI conference series is held in cooperation with AAAI, and AGI-13 will co-locate with IJCAI-13.

* Topics *

As in prior AGI conferences, we welcome papers on all aspects of AGI R&D, with the key proviso that each paper should in some way contribute specifically to the development of Artificial General Intelligence.

* Special Session on Cognitive Robotics and AGI *

This Special Session will feature papers giving new AGI ideas inspired by current research in Cognitive Robotics.

* Workshops *

AGI-13 will include the following workshops:
1. Formalizing Mechanisms for Artificial General Intelligence and Cognition (Formal MAGIC)
2. Probability Theory or Not? Practical and Theoretical Concerns on Uncertainty Handling in AGI

See for details of the workshops.

* Tutorials / Demonstrations *

Tutorials and demonstrations will be held alongside the conference. For the requirements for proposals, please see the AGI-13 website.

* Keynotes *

Keynote speeches will be delivered by leading scientists in the area of AGI and adjacent disciplines; they will be announced at a later stage at the website of AGI-13.

* Important Dates *

Conference paper submission: March 1, 2013
Workshop/tutorial/demonstration submissions: April 10, 2013
Acceptance Notification: April 20, 2013
Camera-ready copy: May 15, 2013
Conference: July 31, 2013 – August 3, 2013

* Submission Information *

All papers have to be submitted via the conference submission page, to be announced at the AGI-13 website.

The authors should not expect any extension of the deadlines, though special situations can be arranged in a case-by-case manner. If for a special reason your submission will be delayed for a few days, please contact the program committee co-chairs for advance approval.

The conference papers will be published by Springer in the Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNAI) series. Paper templates for both LaTeX and Word may be found here: . Use the templates for “LNCS Proceedings and Other Multiauthor Volumes”. The LaTeX template (use of which is preferred) is also given directly here:

Papers must be in English, and submitted in PDF format. There are two types of submissions:
1. Full papers (up to 10 pages): Original research in the above areas.
2. Technical Communications (up to 4 pages): Results and ideas with interest to the AGI audience, including reports about recent own publications, position papers, and preliminary results.

All accepted conference papers will be included in the proceedings, as well as presented at the conference as talks or as posters. At least one author of each accepted paper must register for the conference and present the paper there.

* AGI Summer School *

Collocating with AGI-13, An AGI Summer School will be held in July 17 to 30, 2013. For details, see

We look forward to seeing you in Beijing!


Dr. Pei Wang
Temple University
AGI-13 Conference Chair

Dr. Ben Goertzel
Novamente LLC & Hong Kong Polytechnic University
AGI Conference Series Chair

CfP “Enaction: Challenges and Successes” AISB’13

CALL FOR PAPERS: Enaction: Challenges and Successes
We are pleased to announce the AISB symposium “Enaction: Challenges and Successes” to take place during the AISB Annual Convention 2013, Univ. Exeter, UK, April 2-5th, 2013.
Enaction represents one alternative to “good old-fashion cognitive science”, in the form of a change of focus for models of cognition: from computation to interaction, from the brain-in-a-vat to the embodied brain in the world. This extension, dubbed enactive cognitive science, arises from both the inability of current theoretical frameworks to account for recent data in the social and life sciences, and from growing debates on the defining features of a cognizant organism in its environment.
The symposium will foster discussions around 1) the challenges that any alternative to current frameworks will have to overcome, and 2) the successes from enactive cognitive science that respond to shortcomings in the orthodox frameworks. The outcome of this symposium will be a critical perspective of the state of the field today, as well as a tentative roadmap for the future.
It will be organised around talks and panel discussions. Papers should be no more than 7000 words, including refs and figures. All accepted papers will be provided to the AISB’13 delegates on memory sticks at the beginning of the Convention and, subject to a sufficient number of high-quality submissions, proceedings of the symposium will be published in a more formal outreach, like the Springers series Studies in Applied  Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics (SAPERE).
Submissions should be made using the EasyChair portal for the symposium:
– Submission of full papers: 14th January 2013 – Notification of acceptance: 11th February 2013 – Camera-ready for inclusion in proceedings: 4th March 2013
The symposium is a sequel to the workshop “Foundations of Enactive Cognitive Sciences”, which took place in Windsor, on February 27-28th, 2013, sponsored by the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics, at the University of Reading.
More information and update can be found at:
Dr. Etienne B. Roesch (Univ. Reading)
Prof. Slawomir Nasuto (Univ. Reading)
Prof. J. Mark Bishop (Goldsmiths Univ. London)

CFP: Brain Inspired Cognitive Systems 2013

Paper submissions and special session proposals are invited to the

International Conference on Brain Inspired Cognitive Systems

( ) to be held in Beijing next June.
• February 1st, 2013: Due date for special session proposals
• February 1st, 2013: Due date for conference papers
• March 5th, 2013: Notification of paper acceptance to authors
• March 20th, 2012: Camera-ready deadline for accepted papers
• June 9-11th, 2013: Conference dates
Papers submitted to BICS 2013 must be single-spaced in one column format within an area of 122 mm x 193 mm with 10-point Times-Roman font. Each paper must not exceed 10 pages including figures and references (papers beyond 8 pages are subject to page surcharge). All papers must be written in English using the Springer LNCS (Lecture Notes in Computer Science) style, including all tables, figures, and references.
The BICS 2013 technical program will include special sessions. Their aim is to provide a complementary flavor to the regular sessions and should include topics of interest to the BICS community. Prospective organizers of special sessions should submit proposals indicating:
• title of the session;
 • rationale of the need for the special session at BICS. The rationale should stress the novelty of the topic and/or its multidisciplinary flavor, and must explain how it is different from the subjects covered by the regular sessions;
• short biography of the organizers; • list of 5-6 contributed papers (including titles, authors, contact information of the corresponding author).
Proposals are due on or before 1 February 2013 and should be sent via e-mail (in either pdf or plain ascii text form) to the Special Sessions Chairs (Erik Cambria, Sanqing Hu, and Dongbin Zhao). Proposals will be evaluated based on the timeliness of the topic, the qualifications of the organizers and the authors of the papers proposed in the session. Sessions in which three or more papers are co-authored by the same person, or by authors from the same group will not be accepted. In its decision, the committee will try to realize a balance of the topics across the technical areas represented in BICS. Notification of acceptance will be sent to the organizers by 15 February 2013. Authors of papers included in successful proposals should submit a manuscript on or before 1 February 2013. Manuscripts should conform to the formatting and electronic submission guidelines of regular BICS papers. When they submit papers, there is a choice to indicate that their papers are special session papers. All papers will undergo peer review process. It is the responsibility of the organizers to ensure that their special session meets the BICS quality standards. If, at the end of the review process, less than four papers are accepted, the session will be cancelled and the accepted papers will be moved to regular sessions.

General Intelligence in Embodied Agents

conference session on General Intelligence in Embodied Agents, as part of an IEEE Symposium on Human-Level AI
WHEN/WHERE : 15 Mon -19 Fri April 2013, Singapore
PAPER SUBMISSION DEADLINE: December 12 (12-12-12, midnight GMT), no further extensions
Please join us in Singapore April 2013 for presentations and discussions on general intelligence, embodiment and human-level AI!
This Special Session on General Intelligence in Embodied Agents is part of the IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence for Human-like Intelligence, which in turn is part of the IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence,
(to find the Special Session on that page, scroll down till you see “CIHLI 2013, IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence for Human-like Intelligence” and click on that link).
If your research touches human-level AI but not embodiment specifically, you may want to submit to the IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence for Human-like Intelligence, of which this Special Session is a part.


One critical aspect of human-like intelligence is the capability to control bodies in the pursuit of a variety of human-like goals in environments, especially environments resembling the everyday human world.   The achievement of this capability may be pursued via robotics, or via embodying synthetic intelligent software in virtual agents in virtual worlds such as 3D videogame-like worlds.   Controlling embodied agents carrying out a variety of complex goals in complex environments is a difficult problem, requiring robust generalization and transfer learning ability, and practical creativity.   Confronting this problem places various sorts of stringent requirements on the underlying computational intelligence system, which different architectures may seek to fulfill in different ways.
The focus of this special session is on how architectures designed with artificial general intelligence in mind, cope with the challenges involved in achieving goals involving controlling bodies in worlds, especially worlds bearing some resemblance to the everyday human world.
This Special Session is open to contributions on any topic directly related to the interfacing between artificial general intelligence architectures and the problem of controlling bodies in worlds resembling the everyday human world.   Contributions presenting empirical or mathematical results are very welcome; contributions describing new approaches at an earlier stage of development are welcome as well, if the ideas are novel and clearly presented and argued for.
Specific topics of interest include (but are definitely not limited to):
— Symbol grounding: Learning of groundings for words and/or syntactic and/or semantic relationships, via experience interacting with objects and entities in a world
— Adaptive perception: Perception of objects and events in a world, in a manner that displays some adaptiveness, i.e. ability to perceive objects and events qualitatively different from those for which a system was previously trained or programmed
— Adaptive control: Learning patterns of actuator control in a manner that displays strong adaptiveness, i.e. ability to learn to carry out actions qualitatively different from those for which a system was previously trained or programmed
— Entity identification: Identification of which groups of percepts or atomic objects in a world are sensibly grouped together as a coherent “entity”
— Event identification: Identification of which groups of temporal happenings in a world are sensibly grouped together as a coherent “event”
— Spatial, temporal and spatiotemporal reasoning: Inference about objects and events in a world, in a manner that takes careful account of the spatial and temporal relationships between them
— Self-modeling: Building a model of the agent’s mental and physical self based on the agent’s observations of its own interactions in the world
— Modeling of other Agents: modeling of other agents, in terms of their likely behaviors in various contexts in the world
— Theory of mind: modeling of other agents, in terms of the knowledge and beliefs on which their actions are based
— Autonomy: the capabilities of an embodied AGI to find itself its own motivations and goals.
— Sensorimotor integration: methodologies for linking perception with action in an embodied AGI.


Chair: Dr. Ben Goertzel, Novamente LLC and Hong Kong Polytechnic University
The organizing committee comprises leading researchers with expertise in both AGI and cognitive robotics.
Itamar Arel, University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN, USA
Joscha Bach, Humboldt University, Germany
Antonio Chella, University of Palermo, Italy
David Hanson, Hanson Robotics,  Austin TX, USA
Matthew Ikle’, Adams State College, USA
Stephen Reed, TexAI, Austin TX, USA
Brandon Rohrer, Sandia Labs, New Mexico, USA
Pei Wang, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA

II ReteCog Workshop on Interaction 2013

II Workshop ReteCog on Interaction 2013

17-18th January, 2013
Zaragoza, Spain


In the aftermath of Turing’s anniversary, who famously proposed an interactive test of intelligence, the Spanish Network of Research in Cognitive Science –ReteCog- has chosen “INTERACTION” as the topic of its second meeting. The thematic network ReteCog is inspired by the “European Network for the Advancement of Artificial Cognitive Systems” (EuCognition). With the support of the Ministry of Science and Innovation of the Spanish Government, ReteCog aims to consolidate an interdisciplinary research network, composed by teams from 11 universities and the Spanish Science Research Council, in order to improve the understanding of cognitive systems, within the framework of the Spanish Research system.
The “II Workshop ReteCog on Interaction-2013” will be articulated through two main symposia, one on “The dynamics of agent-environment interaction” that will cover experimental and theoretical contributions to the understanding of agent-environment interactions from a dynamicist perspective, and one on “Social and emotional interaction” where the question of how to relate the role of emotions and interactive processes in the understating of other people´s minds will also be raised. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in workshops, keynote speeches and networking events involving academic experts and prestigious international researchers. It will hopefully give assistants the chance to learn about hot topics, outstanding perspectives and current results in the area of “Cognitive interaction”.

Submission of contributions

The “II Workshop ReteCog on Interaction-2013” invites contributions in issues related to the themes of both symposia (ecological psychology, perception-action coupling, sensorimotor contingencies and cognition, situated models of agent-environment interaction, philosophy of dynamical, situated and enactive approaches to cognitive science, self-organization and behavioural neuroscience, etc.). Researchers from these areas are all expected contributors or participants.


The workshop and plenary conferences will be held at the Paraninfo Building of the University of Zaragoza from the 17th to the 18th of January 2013. Zaragoza is a lively and historical Spanish city, capital of the Aragón Region. It is located in the centre of Northeast Spain and is very well communicated with other major cities, lying in the centre of the Madrid-Barcelona and Valencia-Bilbao.

Important Dates

* Submission deadline: December, 3rd, 2012.
* Notification of acceptance: December, 17th, 2012.
* Conference: 17–18th January, 2013.


Dr. Manuel G. Bedia
Dpt. Computer Science, University of Zaragoza (Spain)
Email: mgbedia unizar es


ASSC16, Brighton, UK, July 02-06 2012
The 16th meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness We are delighted to announce that the 16th meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness will take place in Brighton, UK, from July 02-06, 2012.

The meeting will be organized by the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex (  Brighton, affectionately known as ‘London by the sea’ is a popular international conference destination.  It is only 49 minutes by train from central London and just 30 minutes from Gatwick International Airport (LGW; there are also easy transport links from Heathrow).  Brighton is a small city (population ~500,000) with conference facilities, hotels, restaurants, pubs, transport links, and the beach all within easy walking distance.  The city is well known for its vibrant scientific, artistic, and digital communities, its café and pub society, and the beauty of the surrounding countryside (the South Downs National Park is just a couple of miles to the north).  And in July, the weather is also usually very good as well!  For more information on Brighton, see

To ensure that ASSC16 is special, we have arranged for it to be held in the superb Dome and Corn Exchange theatre complex, in the heart of Brighton’s artistic quarter ( and is only minutes from the beach.  These heritage buildings date from the early 19th century and were recently refurbished in a £2,000,000 project to provide an unparalled combination of elegance and efficiency.  With the support of the city, we are confident that ASSC16 will not only be a premier scientific meeting, but a citywide celebration of consciousness science.

We already have an exciting line-up of keynote speakers for 2012: Victor Lamme (University of Amsterdam), Tim Bayne (University of Oxford), Tania Singer (University of Zurich), Geraint Rees (University College London), and Josef Perner (University of Salzburg).  We are also delighted to announce a ‘special lecture’ from Christof Koch (Caltech).

In a major change from previous ASSC meetings, ASSC16 will take place over four full days, plus one tutorial day, and will run from Monday to Friday instead of across a weekend.  We have made these changes in order to ensure that excellent scientific content can be combined with enough time for discussion, poster viewing, and the like. We do not expect registration fees to be substantially affected.  We should also point out that the ASSC16 dates do NOT clash with the London Olympics!Calls for proposals for tutorials and symposia will shortly be available on  with a submission deadline of October 30, 2011. On behalf of the local organizing committee, we look forward to welcoming you to Brighton in 2012!

Anil Seth
Zoltan Dienes
Jamie Ward

Searle on the Mind-Body Problem

Searle on the Mind-Body Problem

The following video is a short excerpt from an interview to John Searle about his book Intentionality and Minds, Brains and Science.

Will computers ever achieve consciousness? John Searle, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy and cognitive science at U.C. Berkeley and author of Intentionality and Minds, Brains and Science. He challenges the notion that the human mind operates like a computer, pointing out that intentionality and other human faculties are not achievable through artificial intelligence.

BICA 2012

BICA 2012
Annual International Conference on Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures (BICA), Third Annual Meeting of the BICA Society
Palermo, Italy, October 31st  – November 3rd

Sponsored by:
BICA Society
University of Palermo


The challenge of creating a real-life computational equivalent of the human mind, known as the BICA Challenge, calls for our joint efforts to develop biologically-inspired intelligent agents that can be accepted and trusted by the human society in various roles, on an equal footing with human agents. The main objective of BICA 2012 is to take a significant step forward towards the BICA Challenge.

The topics of BICA 2012 will include (but not be limited to):
– models capable of inducing the sense of presence in artifacts;
– the “critical mass” of a human-level learner;
– emotional competence and social intelligence in artifacts;
– machine consciousness and BICA;
– models of perception, cognition and action;
– robust and scalable learning mechanisms;
– realistic neural networks for BICA;
– human-like episodic and semantic memory;
– metacognition in BICA;
– self-regulated, bootstrapped and meta-learning;
– language acquisition and symbol grounding;
– non-von-Neumann computational systems for BICA;
– a roadmap to the BICA Challenge.

Continue reading “BICA 2012”