The autonomous Earth: How humans created a planetary civilisation that is beyond their control
James Dyke is an academic, writer and author. He is an Assistant Director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter where he also leads the MSc Global Sustainability Solutions. He writes an environmental column for the UK newspaper i and is a contributor to the Guardian, Independent, Ecologist, The Conversation and many other publications. His first book “Fire Storm and Flood: the violence of climate change” will be published in August 2021. James conducted his doctoral research at the Centre for Computational Neuroscience & Robotics at the University of Sussex, and then held posts at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany, and the Centre for Complex Systems Simulation at the University of Southampton.
Complexity begets complexity
Jessica Flack is a professor at the Santa Fe Institute, director of SFI's Collective Computation Group (C4), chief editor of the new, transdisciplinary journal, Collective Intelligence, and, previously, was founding director of University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Complexity and Collective Computation in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Flack is interested in the roles of information processing and collective computation in the emergence of robust but evolvable structure and function in biological and social systems. This work sits at the intersection of evolutionary theory, statistical mechanics, information theory, theoretical computer science and cognitive science. Flack's work has been covered in many publications and media outlets, including the BBC, NPR, Nature, Science, The Economist, New Scientist, Current Biology, The Atlantic, and Quanta Magazine. Flack also writes popular science articles on collective behavior and complexity science for magazines like Aeon. In 2020 her work with several collaborators including Nihat Ay and David Krakauer on the information theory of individuality was chosen as a science breakthrough of the year by Quanta Magazine.
Artificial Life at Scale?
Lessons from Machine Learning
David Ha is a Research Scientist at Google Brain in Tokyo, Japan. His research interests include Neural Networks, Creative AI, and Evolutionary Computing. Prior to joining Google, he worked at Goldman Sachs as a Managing Director, where he ran the fixed-income trading business in Japan. He obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees in Engineering Science and Applied Math from the University of Toronto.
Homage to R.U.R.: 100 Ways to Play a Robot
Jana Horáková graduated from theatre studies and now she is an associate professor in new media art at Masaryk University, Czech Republic. She has specialised in robotic art, robotic performance, and new media art. She is an author of a book "Robot as Robot", in which she focused on Karel Čapek’s play R.U.R. from perspective of differences in staging and reception of Robots as well as on the Robot character appropriation by science-fiction writers and scientists. She presented her findings worldwide, at international conferences, and in scientific journals. Recently, she spoke about Robots at European Researchers' Night 2020, and she was interviewed for BBS to discuss 100 years of Čapek's play about Robots.
Experiments in Machine Behavior
Iyad Rahwan is a director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, where he founded and directs the Center for Humans & Machines. He is also an honorary professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Technical University of Berlin. Until June 2020, he was an Associate Professor of Media Arts & Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A native of Aleppo, Syria, Rahwan holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Order from Order: How Life Emerged from a Convection-driven Submarine Spring
Mike Russell is a geologist who works on the origin of life. He is the originator of the theory that life emerged at alkaline submarine hydrothermal vents. He was NASA Senior Research Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, and a member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute from 2006 until 2019. Russell was an undergraduate in geology at Queen Mary College of the University of London, took his PhD in geochemistry at University of Durham, taught at the University of Glasgow, and was a visiting Professor at the University of Grenoble. Russell has appeared on BBC programmes including Life on Mars and Origin of Life.
Ageing in artificial and real life: can we code a cure?
Andrew Steele is a scientist and author of Ageless: The new science of getting older without getting old. After a PhD in physics from the University of Oxford, Andrew decided that ageing was the single most important scientific challenge of our time, and switched fields to computational biology. After five years using machine learning to investigate DNA and NHS medical records, he is now a full-time writer, presenter and campaigner.
Weird Tales: Early Visions of Machines That Can Reproduce and Evolve, and Their Relevance Today
Tim Taylor is a scientist, author, and coder, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He pursues research and development in artificial life, agent-based modelling and artificial intelligence, and also has a deep interest in the history of these fields. He has held research positions in various leading universities in the UK and Australia, including Edinburgh, York, Goldsmiths and Monash. His book “Rise of the Self-Replicators: Early Visions of Machines, AI and Robots That Can Reproduce and Evolve”, co-authored with Alan Dorin, was published in 2020. He currently works part-time (and remotely) as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Data Science and AI at Monash University, Australia, while also progressing his own research and writing interests as an independent researcher. He is an associate examiner for the University of London, and an elected board member of the International Society for Artificial Life.