Coyote. A Tale of Unexpected Consequences

Coyote. A Tale of Unexpected Consequences. An intelligent robot coyote longs to be free…
Elisabeth Rhett Woods
Ekstasis Editions, Sep. 2011. 
This science fiction novel is not about consciousness, but one of the most remarkable problems intimately related with it: free will. Written by the poet and writer Elisabeth Rhett Woods, the book uses a close and non technical language, flavored with some poetry, appealing to anyone interested in the subjects of AI and free will. No special knowledge is required to enjoy this story about life, where you, as a human being or as an intelligent sentient machine, can easily identify your fears, wishes and dreams with those of the characters. 
The story is based on the development of a new intelligent robot coyote who longs to be free. Wealthy poet, Zoe Neville, decides to make, with the help of friends, both a robot coyote and a film about this robot coyote being used to smuggle a small quantity of marijuana into the United States in a private protest against the invasive spy equipment the U.S. has set up along the border with Canada. Setting the main plot aside, the actual purpose of this work is to explores the development of consciousness, self and personhood, friendship between women and men, freedom, and what it means in practice to be free.

EAIS 2012

EAIS 2012

2012 IEEE Conference on Evolving and Adaptive Intelligent Systems

Deadline extended: February, 15. 2012.

This EAIS Edition will be held in Madrid, Spain, between May 17-18, 2012.

One of the important research challenges today is to develop new theoretical methods, algorithms, and implementations of systems with a higher level of flexibility and autonomy, we can say with higher level of intelligence. Intelligent systems should be dynamically evolving and be able to adapt and learn. That is, the system must be able to evolve, to self-develop, to self-organize, to self-evaluate and to self-improve. The emerging area of Evolving Intelligent Systems targets non-stationary processes by developing novel on-line learning methods and computationally efficient algorithms for real-time applications. Some of the natural implementation areas of Evolving and Adaptive Intelligent systems are: wireless sensor networks, assisted ambient intelligence, embedded soft computing diagnostics and prognostics algorithms, intelligent agents, smart evolving sensors, autonomous robotic systems etc.

EAIS 2012 continues the tradition established by the successful series of IEEE conferences starting with EFS’06 (Lake District, England), GEFS’08 (Witten-Bomerhoz, Germany), ESDIS’09 (Nashville, USA), EIS’10 (Leicester, England), and EAIS’11 (Paris, France). It will provide a friendly atmosphere and will be a leading international forum focusing on discussing problems, research, results and future directions in the area of Evolving and Adaptive Intelligent Systems.

More Information:

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.


Vol. 1 of the World Scientific Series on Machine Consciousness
Aristotles Laptop
The Discovery of our Informational Mind
by Igor Aleksander (Imperial College London, UK) & Helen Morton (Imperial College London, UK)

Aristotle’s convincing philosophy is likely to have shaped (even indirectly) many of our current beliefs, prejudices and attitudes to life. This includes the way in which our mind (that is, our capacity to have private thoughts) appears to elude a scientific description. This book is about a scientific ingredient that was not available to Aristotle: the science of information. Would the course of the philosophy of the mind have been different had Aristotle pronounced that the matter of mind was information? This “mind is information” assertion is often heard in contemporary debates, and this book explores the verities and falsehoods of this proposition.

Information: The New Kid on the Block
Shannon (1916–2001)
Little Boxes that Reason and Learn
Networks with Internal States
Information Integration: The Measure of Consciousness
Automata and Information Integration
The Philosophy of Information
The Structure of the Informational Mind
Language and Information
The Secret State: Freud and Automata
Detractors and Open Minds
Conclusion: Aristotle’s Laptop

Readership: Philosophers, scientists and those interested in consciousness and machine consciousness; readers of multidisciplinary books on machine analyses of consciousness.





10-11.12.2012, OXFORD

The first conference on the Impacts and Risks of Artificial General Intelligence will take place at the University of Oxford, St. Anne’s College, on December 10th and 11th, 2012 – immediately following the fifth annual conference on Artificial General Intelligence AGI-12 ( AGI-Impacts is organized by the “Future of Humanity Institute” (FHI) at Oxford University through its “Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology”. The two events form the Winter Intelligence Multi-Conference 2012, hosted by FHI.

The conference will explore questions such as: How can we best predict the impact of as future intelligent and superintelligent machines? How can we combine ideas from computer science, mathematics and philosophy to best estimate this impact? What will be the impacts of AGI on the world? Which directions of research should be most explored, and which should be de-emphasized or avoided?   What can we do to best ensure scientific rigour in this non-experimental academic field? What are the best ideas and methods for ensuring both safety and predictability of advanced AI systems? Can we lay the foundations to a field of rigorous study of realistic AGI control methods that lead to implementable security protocols?

The scope is wide, but all papers are expected to be of high quality and with the maximal amount of rigour that is possible for the subject area. We envisage publication of selected submissions in a special journal issue.