Call: AISB/IACAP World Congress 2012 in honour of Alan Turing


AISB/IACAP World Congress 2012
in honour of Alan Turing

July 2nd to 6th, 2012
University of Birmingham

Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB)
[ ]

and the

International Association for Computing and Philosophy (IACAP)
[ ]

AISB and IACAP are delighted to be joining forces to run the above Congress in 2012. The Congress serves both as the year’s AISB Convention and the year’s IACAP conference. The Congress has been inspired by a desire to honour Alan Turing and by the broad and deep significance of Turing’s work to AI, to the philosophical ramifications of computing, and to philosophy and computing more generally. The Congress is one of the events forming the Alan Turing Year (

The intent of the Congress is to stimulate a particularly rich interchange between AI and Philosophy on any areas of mutual interest, whether directly addressing Turing’s own research output or not.

The Congress will consist mainly of a number of collocated Symposia on specific research areas, interspersed with Congress-wide refreshment breaks, social events and invited Plenary Talks. This format borrows from the normal AISB Convention practice and the theme-session structure used in IACAP conferences. All papers other than the invited Plenaries will be given within Symposia. This format is perfect for encouraging new dialogue and collaboration both within and between research areas.

Symposia are expected normally to last for one day or two days, but somewhat shorter or longer possibilities can be considered. They will probably each involve between ten and fifty participants but there are no particular limits. Symposia can include any type of event of academic benefit: talks, panels, discussions, demonstrations, outreach sessions, etc.

Each Symposium will be organized by its own programme committee. The committee proposes the Symposium, defines the area(s) for it, works out a structure for it, issues calls for abstracts/papers etc., manages the process of selecting submitted papers for inclusion, and compiles an electronic file on which the symposium proceedings will be based (locally produced, and not precluding publication of papers elsewhere).

The Congress organizers are in charge of everything else: overall schedule, plenary talks, registration, creation of the individual symposium proceedings in print, creation of an overall electronic proceedings for the Conference, etc.

Some Research Themes

Proposals for Symposia are welcomed in all areas of AI and cognitive science (as at normal AISB Conventions) and all areas of philosophy related to computing (as at normal IACAP conferences).

We have identified some research areas as being especially appropriate for the Congress. These are as follows, BUT ARE IN NO WAY EXCLUSIVE:

  • the fundamental nature and limits of computation
  • computational theory of mind
  • the nature and possibility of AI
  • testing for intelligence (natural or artificial)
  • consciousness (natural or artificial)
  • creativity (artistic and otherwise), aesthetics, etc.
  • people’s attitudes towards and relationships with intelligent machines
  • ethics of AI and computing in general, and how AI may ultimately affect ethics
  • the philosophical nature & ramifications (e.g., for notions of person, self, agenthood, social cognition) of both intelligent software agents in cyberspace and people’s virtual identities.

Proposals for symposia touching on these themes will be especially welcome, but we will also very much welcome proposals in other areas relevant to AISB and/or IACAP. In particular, WE WELCOME SEQUELS to PREVIOUS AISB SYMPOSIA or IACAP THEME SESSIONS.

Symposium Proposal Procedure

Proposers are welcome to submit more than one proposal, or to be involved in some other way in more than one.

Proposers need not already be members of either Society and will not be required to become members. They will of course be encouraged to join!

The deadline for Symposium proposals is 1 September 2011

Submissions should consist of:

  1. a title
  2. a description of between 300 and 1000 words of the research areas of the Symposium, the relevance of the Symposium to the Congress, and the nature of the academic events within the Symposium (talks, posters, panels, demonstrations, etc.); with special mention of any aspects of the Symposium that bring together AI and Philosophy in an unusual way;
  3. whether the Syposium is intended as a sequel to a symposium or theme session at a previous AISB or IACAP conference – and if so a clear indication of which symposium/session and when;
  4. an indication of whether submissions will be by abstract, extended abstract or full paper;
  5. your preferences about the intended length of the Symposium as a number of days (preferably one day or two, but otherwise anything from half a day to three days), together with a brief justification;
  6. a description (up to 500 words) of any experience you have in organization of academic research meetings (NB: it is not a requirement that you have such experience);
  7. names and workplaces of any invited speakers that you may have in mind for the symposium (NB: It is not a requirement to have invited speakers, and indeed it is unlikely that the Congress will be able to fund such speakers except in special cases. Therefore you would probably have to seek alternative sources of funding for them. However, it would be useful for the Congress chairs and proposal-selection group to know about possible invited speakers.)
  8. your names and full contact details, together with, if possible, names and workplaces of the members of a preliminary, partial programme committee.

Submitting The Proposal

Please visit in the role of an author and press the button “New Submission”.

In the part that asks for the “paper”, upload parts A-H above as a single document – a plain-text (.txt) file or a PDF file.

The title should also be copied into the Title box.

Apart from a Title and Keywords, an Abstract is required. We are using this for special purposes, so your abstract NEED NOT summarize the proposal. Rather, please use the space (preferably no more than 50 words) to specify the following:

  • any additional keywords (e.g., you may wish to mention themes from the list above)
  • your preference as to the length of the Symposium (even though this is also in the main document).

Invited Plenary Speakers

Four invited Plenary speakers have so far been secured, namely:

COLIN ALLEN (University of Indiana, Bloomington, USA)

LUCIANO FLORIDI (University of Hertfordshire and University of Oxford, UK)

AARON SLOMAN (University of Birmingham, UK)

STEPHEN WOLFRAM (CEO, Wolfram Research)

Congress Chairs

Overall Chairs:

Anthony Beavers, President IACAP

John Barnden, Co-chair AISB

Local Chair:

Manfred Kerber

Proposal Consideration Process, etc.

The proposals will be considered by the committees of both societies, with committee members who have conflicts of interest excluded from discussions as appropriate.

  • The consideration may involve calling for clarification from the proposers.
  • If similar or closely related proposals are made, we may suggest amalgamation of proposed symposia, or at least careful coordination between their organizers.
  • We may suggest (or in the final instance require) changes to the length of symposia.

We will be requiring the proposers of the successful proposals to put out a first call for abstracts/papers by 15th October, with a view to:

  • submissions being in by 1 February 2012
  • inclusion decisions made by 1 March 2012
  • final abstract/paper versions for inclusion in proceedings delivered by 30 March 2012. 


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