• What are the necessary requirements for genuine autonomous (open-ended) behaviour (e.g. metabolic autonomy, DNA, nervous system, sociality, culture, etc.)? And how can these requirements best be studied in artificial systems?

• What are the required steps that lead from self-motion to autonomous agency?

• What are the consequences of the shift from autonomous systems to artificial agency in terms of engineering, cognitive science, sociality and ethics?

• How does the modeling and theory/ies of autonomous systems relate to current trends in systems neuroscience?

• How are cognitive autonomy and biological autonomy (self-construction / autopoiesis) related? Can cognitive autonomy exist in non-autopoietic systems?

• How close are current advances on artificial protocells to address genuine autonomy? What else is required?

• Demonstrations of how advances in autonomy-theory can contribute to other fields such as cancer research, psychiatry, evolutionary theory, origins of life research, robotics, ecology, artificial intelligence, artificial life, etc.

• Models of autonomy. Show an autonomous behaviour, agent, or system in a model and provide a conceptual defense for why it should be considered autonomous.

• Aspects of autonomy. Model features that seem fundamental to autonomy, such as e.g., operational closure, granger-autonomy, enaction, precariousness, viability boundaries, etc.

• Demonstrate (e.g. in a model) concepts that can be transferred from the study of biological autonomy to the study of cognitive autonomy (or vice versa).


4 responses to “Questions

  1. Hello, I really liked the picture/logo for this workshop, and it cracked me up. But after reading some of the material under resources on what biological autonomy means, it seems to me now that the picture is misleading. Biological autonomy (from what I understand) pertains to a system maintaining itself which includes command over itself and possibly control of its environment, the more a system can do this, the more it is deemed biologically autonomous. So for the goldfish to “behave in a biologically autonomous way” (I’m sure this phrase is problematic on many levels), it should really stay in its bowl of water. By jumping out (this is direction the picture leads me to conclude) of the bowl, the goldfish is decreasing its ability to maintain its system/self, i.e. suiciding. But the picture still cracks me up!

    • Good point! But maybe we could argue that the behavior of the fish is relatively autonomous with respect to its metabolic constraints? Hence the possibility of committing suicide…

  2. then the question arises: how does this fish gets this way (or is it wrapped up in its intrinsic ? nature, so the option is always there), where does this autonomy come from or how does it come about … perhaps this type of autonomy is beyond biological autonomy

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