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Artificial life: discipline or method? Report on a debate held at ECAL '99

Noble, J., Bullock, S. and Di Paolo, E.A. (2000) Artificial life: discipline or method? Report on a debate held at ECAL '99. Artificial Life, 6 (2). pp. 145-148. ISSN 1064-5462


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[First Paragraph] How can artificial life (AL) advance scientific understanding? Is AL best seen as a new discipline, or as a collection of novel computational methods that can be applied to old problems? And given that the products of AL research range from abstract existence proofs to working robots to detailed simulation models, are there standards of quality or usefulness that can be applied across the whole field? On September 16th, 1999 in Lausanne, Switzerland, a debate on these questions was held as part of the Fifth European Conference on Artificial Life. As the organizers, we wanted to foster a constructive discussion regarding the scientific status, and future, of AL. We were well aware that some of these issues had been raised before (e.g., Miller [2]) but we felt that earlier treatments had perhaps not reached a wide enough audience. The format for the debate consisted of contributions from invited panelists followed by an open discussion. The panelists were Chris Langton, Mark Bedau, Simon Kirby, and Inman Harvey—Hiroaki Kitano was scheduled to participate but regrettably could not attend the conference.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Computing (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 01:30
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/106454600568375
Status: Published
Publisher: MIT Press
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1162/106454600568375
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1258

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