Evolutionary Robotics, Organic Computing and Adaptive Ambience: Epistemological and Ethical Implications of Technomorphic Descriptions of Technologies

  • type of event:Internationales Symposion
  • place:
    Hector School, Schlossplatz 19, 76131 Karlsruhe
  • date: 20.10.11 - 22.10.11

Evolutionary Robotics, Organic Computing and Adaptive Ambience

In focus of the symposion are the methodological, anthropological and ethical implications of the most recent technological advances in the field of autonomous systems, particularly the two paradigms of ambient technologies and organic computing.

Ambient technology design as well as organic computing aim at autonomous systems which are supposed to act as human agents, simulating human activities, properties or skills. And both paradigms display some remarkable similarities, insofar as they apply the very same technical solutions in order to construct autonomous systems, e.g. non-von-Neumann architectures, SOMs, neural nets. And both paradigms use the same biomorphic metaphors in order to describe the construction, the function and the usage of the resulting systems, stating adaptive and evolutionary strategies of the systems that enables them to "interpret intentions", so understand emotions and finally to act sociably.

The use of biomorphic metaphors, however, seems to indicate not only a variation of already existing technological solutions; the metaphorical connotations emphasise design of a new and unprecedented type of systems which are neither bio- nor artefacts but behavioural simulacra. As such they resemble certain cognitive features of homo sapiens and combine technical self-assembly with evolutionary efficiency. This specific combination of biological and technological designs raises some intriguing philosophical questions which constitute the focus of this symposion.

Preliminary Programme
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The Symposion is funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation).

The Symposion is organised by:

Prof. Dr. Dr. Mathias Gutmann
Institute for Philosophy
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
     Prof. Dr. Michael Decker
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Elke Träutlein
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Postfach 3640, 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany