Doctoral Student’s Guide to Postdocs

These days, finding employment after graduation is a challenge regardless of your degree level. However, tough job markets are even more disheartening for doctoral graduates who have dedicated a significant amount of their lives and money to earning their degrees. Fortunately, there are plenty of post-doctoral research opportunities available to new Ph.D. holders; these gigs can serve as an ideal intermediary between academic life and the beginnings of a successful career. Check the following link for a guide to postdocs:

First International Workshop on Artificial Consciousness

First International Workshop on

Artificial Consciousness

Taormina, Italy, September 2-6, 2013 at ECAL 2013

Artificial Consciousness

About this Workshop

The workshop is devoted to the issue of artificial consciousness. In biological organisms, consciousness is considered to be the starting point for personal human understanding of the world and consequent intelligent behaviour. Therefore, if one is interested in cognitive architectures which would be biologically inspired, then modeling of consciousness becomes an important computational research topic for the construction of architectures that are strive to have equivalence with the human mind. Furthermore, both life and consciousness can be seen as emerging processes with unique properties and a particular elusive character from the point of view of scientific study.

This workshop might be an excellent opportunity to review and advance the research programs focused on finding the common grounds and relationships between life and consciousness. The workshop will provide an overview of the state of the art in the field of machine consciousness. Moreover, it is intended to include contributions from designers of artificially conscious machines. Such contributions address the problem of how a given cognitive architecture should be shaped in order to include the feeling of being aware of something. It will be argued that the knowledge about the qualitative side of consciousness “supervenes” upon the functional knowledge. In other words, if our knowledge is good enough to approach the design of machines with conscious states it is also able to explain the causes of phenomenology in a general sense.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

– computational architectures on machine consciousness

– ethics of artificial consciousness

– methods of defining and recognising the presence of artificial qualia

– setting up a Turing Test for artificial qualia

The First International Workshop on Artificial Consciousness is part of the 12th European Conference on Artificial Life. Designing, Programming, Evolving, Simulation and Synthesis of Natural and Artificial Living Systems (September,2-6 2013, Taormina, Italy).

Call for papers

We invite the submission of papers on the topics of workshop. Submit your research by June 23, 2013 to be considered for the workshop program. Submission is made through the Easychair website. The submitted papers should be no more than 3 pages long (no more than 1000 words). The papers must be prepared for blind referee, with all self-reference and personal data suppressed.

The EasyChair login page for ECAL 2013 is at:

In order to access the submission page, the creation of an EasyChair account will be required.

Call for posters

Poster sessions consists of posters displayed for informal browsing with opportunities for individual discussion with authors.

Important dates

May 15, 2013 Abstract submission deadline
May 31, 2013 Notification of paper acceptance
May 15, 2013 Poster submission deadline
May 31, 2013 Notification of poster acceptance

Program co-chairs

Igor Aleksander
Imperial College, London, UK

Raul Arrabales Moreno
U-tad, University Centre of Technology and Digital Art, Madrid, Spain

Pietro Perconti
University of Messina, Italy

Alessio Plebe
University of Messina, Italy

Workshop Venue

The First International Workshop on Artificial Consciousness will be co-located with ECAL 2013, 12th European Conference on Artificial Life, September 2-6 2013, Taormina, Italy.

The workshop will take place at “Villa Diodoro” Hotel Taormina, Italy.

Hotel Villa Diodoro
Via Bagnoli Croci 75
98039 Taormina, Messina, Italy
T: +39 0942 2 33 12
F: +39 0942 2 33 91
E: diodoro at


Special Issue

Revised versions of selected papers will be taken into consideration for publication on a special issue of the International Journal of Machine Consciousness.


The registration can be done via the ECAL 2013 web site. Early registration deadline is June 15, 2013. Late registration: June 16 – September 6, 2013


To be announced.

More Information

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Workshop web site.

ECAL 2013 web site.


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.

2012. The Alan Turing Year

2012 The Alan Turing Year

A Centenary Celebration of the Life and Work of Alan Turing

June 23, 2012, is the Centenary of Alan Turing’s birth in London. During his relatively brief life, Turing made a unique impact on the history of computing, computer science, artificial intelligence, developmental biology, and the mathematical theory of computability. See for more details and related events around the world.

A remarkable example is the AISB/IACAP World Congress 2012, where several symposia related with Turingwill be held.

Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science

The Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science (SCCS) at the University of Sussex has been recently founded

SCCS web site: 

Founded in 2010 with a generous donation from the Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science (SCCS) represents a new and multidisciplinary approach to clinical intervention and diagnosis, based on the science of the complex brain networks that give rise to consciousness.

How do conscious experience, subjectivity and free will arise from their biological substrates? Even in the late 20th century, consciousness was considered by many to be outside the reach or remit of science. Now, powerful new combinations of functional brain imaging, computational modelling and basic neurobiology bring real hope that human ingenuity can resolve this central mystery of life. Practically, an enhanced understanding of consciousness will transform clinical approaches to a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders, from coma to insomnia, from depression and schizophrenia to autism and dementia.


The Singularity. Could robots take over the world?

The Singularity. Could robots take over the world?

Madrid Science Week talk by Raul Arrabales. FNAC Parquesur. November 12, 2009. 19:00.

Current developments in AI and Artificial Cognitive Systems, specifically those based on Machine Consciousness, make us wonder what could be the implications of successful designs. Isn’t it dangerous to build conscious machines? How could they affect society? This talk will address these topics introducing concepts like the Singularity. Arguments in favor and against the possibility of a radical social change caused by technological advances will be discussed.

Venue. FNAC Parquesur. Thursday, November 12, 2009. 19:00. Free Entrance. Language: Spanish

Axel Cleeremans

Axel Cleeremans

Research Directors with the NFSR. Member of the Royal Academy of Belgium.

His research interests include Consciousness, Computational Models of Cognition, Implicit Learning, and Cognitive Science.

 Axel Cleeremans is research director, N.F.S.R. Consciousness, Cognition & Computation Group (CO3) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Belgium.

Cleeremans is doing active research in the area of consciousness and Machine Consciousness. For more information, visit his homepage and the CO3 website:

Consciousness Evolves Besides Genetics

Raúl Arrabales Moreno, Machine Consciousness researcher at Carlos III University of Madrid


By Ana María Jaramillo V. (Translation of interview published by Blog Sistemas Inteligentes)

Inspired by the Strong Artificial Intelligence school, the same that captivated audiences in movies like ‘The Matrix’ or ‘2001 Space Odyssey’, this engineer by profession, multidisciplinary scientist by passion, believes the ultimate goal of Machine Consciousness research is to understand human nature. He pursues, as only a few do, the dream of creating self-conscious robots, as he asserts the best way to prove that something is understood is by recreating it.

Arrabales believes the real advancement of this field will come thanks to the synergy between mind research and technological disciplines. He knows he will live to see important qualitative changes and advocates the application of cognitive models from psychology or neurology to computational architectures.

This young scientist works in a controversial but fascinating field, where everyday research can be turned into fantasy, raising questions about free will and determinism in both humans and their creations.

AMJ: From what I understood reading you blog, you believe in the creation of artificial consciousness, don’t you?

RA: Yes, I believe so. However, it is not clear to me when and to what degree we will achieve this goal. Actually, one of the most important research lines I am currently working on is focused on the measure of the degree of artificial consciousness. There is no consensus about how to address this challenge. In fact, we don’t have a clear answer about the degree of consciousness of a coma patient. The definition of the term consciousness is a problem itself.

Continue reading “Consciousness Evolves Besides Genetics”

Anil K Seth

Anil K Seth

Senior Lecturer, EPSRC Leadership Fellow
Department of Informatics,
University of Sussex,  UK

Seth is senior lecturer and EPSRC leadership fellow at the University of Sussex. He is interested the following research lines: Theoretical Neuroscience, Consciousness, Cognitive Science, Artificial Life, Neurorobotics, and also he is active in the particular field of Machine Consciousness research.

Visit for additional information.