The INBIOSA project brings together a group of experts across many disciplines who believe that science requires a revolutionary transformative step in order to address many of the vexing challenges presented by the world. It is INBIOSA’s purpose to enable the focused collaboration of an interdisciplinary community of original thinkers. This paper sets out the case for support for this effort. The focus of the transformative research program proposal is biology-centric. We admit that biology to date has been more fact-oriented (...) and less theoretical than physics. However, the key leverageable idea is that careful extension of the science of living systems can be more effectively applied to some of our most vexing modern problems than the prevailing scheme, derived from abstractions in physics. While these have some universal application and demonstrate computational advantages, they are not theoretically mandated for the living. A new set of mathematical abstractions derived from biology can now be similarly extended. This is made possible by leveraging new formal tools to understand abstraction and enable computability. [The latter has a much expanded meaning in our context from the one known and used in computer science and biology today, that is "by rote algorithmic means", since it is not known if a living system is computable in this sense (Mossio et al., 2009).] Two major challenges constitute the effort. The first challenge is to design an original general system of abstractions within the biological domain. The initial issue is descriptive leading to the explanatory. There has not yet been a serious formal examination of the abstractions of the biological domain. What is used today is an amalgam; much is inherited from physics (via the bridging abstractions of chemistry) and there are many new abstractions from advances in mathematics (incentivized by the need for more capable computational analyses). Interspersed are abstractions, concepts and underlying assumptions “native” to biology and distinct from the mechanical language of physics and computation as we know them. A pressing agenda should be to single out the most concrete and at the same time the most fundamental process-units in biology and to recruit them into the descriptive domain. Therefore, the first challenge is to build a coherent formal system of abstractions and operations that is truly native to living systems. Nothing will be thrown away, but many common methods will be philosophically recast, just as in physics relativity subsumed and reinterpreted Newtonian mechanics. -/- This step is required because we need a comprehensible, formal system to apply in many domains. Emphasis should be placed on the distinction between multi-perspective analysis and synthesis and on what could be the basic terms or tools needed. The second challenge is relatively simple: the actual application of this set of biology-centric ways and means to cross-disciplinary problems. In its early stages, this will seem to be a “new science”. This White Paper sets out the case of continuing support of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for transformative research in biology and information processing centered on paradigm changes in the epistemological, ontological, mathematical and computational bases of the science of living systems. Today, curiously, living systems cannot be said to be anything more than dissipative structures organized internally by genetic information. There is not anything substantially different from abiotic systems other than the empirical nature of their robustness. We believe that there are other new and unique properties and patterns comprehensible at this bio-logical level. The report lays out a fundamental set of approaches to articulate these properties and patterns, and is composed as follows. -/- Sections 1 through 4 (preamble, introduction, motivation and major biomathematical problems) are incipient. Section 5 describes the issues affecting Integral Biomathics and Section 6 -- the aspects of the Grand Challenge we face with this project. Section 7 contemplates the effort to formalize a General Theory of Living Systems (GTLS) from what we have today. The goal is to have a formal system, equivalent to that which exists in the physics community. Here we define how to perceive the role of time in biology. Section 8 describes the initial efforts to apply this general theory of living systems in many domains, with special emphasis on crossdisciplinary problems and multiple domains spanning both “hard” and “soft” sciences. The expected result is a coherent collection of integrated mathematical techniques. Section 9 discusses the first two test cases, project proposals, of our approach. They are designed to demonstrate the ability of our approach to address “wicked problems” which span across physics, chemistry, biology, societies and societal dynamics. The solutions require integrated measurable results at multiple levels known as “grand challenges” to existing methods. Finally, Section 10 adheres to an appeal for action, advocating the necessity for further long-term support of the INBIOSA program. -/- The report is concluded with preliminary non-exclusive list of challenging research themes to address, as well as required administrative actions. The efforts described in the ten sections of this White Paper will proceed concurrently. Collectively, they describe a program that can be managed and measured as it progresses. (shrink)
Instead of presuming the ‘observer’ as given, we are (re)sensing the observer and are thereby offering an ‘open order cybernetics’ (OOC). We are first of all concerned about our acquisition and use of language as the precondition for any meaningful statement. This self-reflexive point of departure distinguishes our project from philosophers who are presuming ‘something’ (‘closure’, ‘selforganization’, ‘self ’, ‘auto-poiesis’, ‘senses’, ‘objects’, ‘subjects’, ‘language’, ‘nervous systems’ etc.) in the first place without being aware of their presumptions i.e. that they are (...) able to already talk meaningfully about ‘something’. We are undertaking a self-reflexive loop towards our already undertaken ‘meaningful’ actions, reflecting inside our concepts on our concepts, trying to find out how our concepts about ‘something’ have come into existence. We are reflecting on our concepts through this ongoing open investigation. We are sketching the ramifications of such a self-reflexive loop for epistemology as well as for the main research areas within cognitive science (i.e. language acquisition, perception, consciousness). We are also pointing towards virtual reality in combination with the arts as an awareness aid, helping us in our self-reflexive endeavours. (shrink)
This article discusses four different case studies related to complex technological works that were created through international collaborations.The Exquisite Mechanism of Shivers/Ex.MechRed Dice/Des ChiffréCom↔SpaceA China of Many SensesThe article discusses elements of language, culture, technological creation and process.
Neosentience, a potentially new branch of scientific inquiry related to artificial intelligence, was first suggested in a paper by Bill Seaman as part of a new embodied robotic paradigm, arising out of ongoing theoretical research with Otto E. Rossler. Seaman, artist-researcher, and Rossler, theoretical biologist and physicist, have been examining the potential of generating an intelligent, embodied, multimodal sensing and computational robotic system. Although related to artificial intelligence the goal of this system is the creation of an entity exhibiting a (...) new form of sentience. Its unique qualities will be discussed. Sentience is not yet used in the formal languages of either cognitive science or artificial intelligence. Two related approaches are (1) the generation of artificial minds via parallel processing, in a robotic system; (2) an alternative approach is the generation of an electrochemical computer as a robotic system. Biomimetics, along with state-of-the-art computer visualization is employed. The electrochemical paradigm has a complexity that exceeds standard computational means. The scientific and the poetic elements of the project are motivated by human sentience. The sentient entity is initially modelled on our functional definition of human sentience. The system involves synthetic drives as a new element. We seek to articulate the differences to living brains. This transdisciplinary approach necessitates different forms of inquiry to inform this project such as cognitive science including psychology, education/learning, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, biology and the arts. We believe that this area of research to be of importance. (shrink)
A computer-based language system exploring hybrid invention generation has been developed by Bill Seaman working in conjunction with the programmer Gideon May.1 The project was primarily funded by Intel. This work explores 3D visualization with related generative texts and recombinant audio/music, as well as a series of textual descriptions. Computer-based environmental meaning is explored through the inter-authorship and operative experiential examination of a diverse set of media-elements and media-processes, in this case focusing on the virtual construction of hybrid inventions. Differing (...) sets of media elements in the Hybrid Invention Generator convey their own fields of meaning through the juxtaposition of 3D models, texts and digital audio. Varying combinations of these fields of meaning are experienced through direct interaction with the system. The work explores notions surrounding machinic genetics. Nonsense relations can present seemingly off-kilter juxtapositions, providing the participant with an experience akin to surrealism. Lautréamont’s definition of surrealist beauty - ‘beautiful as the unexpected meeting, on a dissection table, of a sewing machine and an umbrella’ (Waldberg 1965) - describes an experience engendered through a unique juxtaposition of elements not unlike relations encountered within this particular techno-poetic environment. Yet the system can also be used to brainstorm actual devices, as well as their potential conceptual/functional construction. (shrink)