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Collective Agency and Cooperation in Natural and Artificial Systems
International Conference at the University of Stuttgart, July 22-24, 2013


The focus of this conference is the explanation of collective agency, cognition and cooperation in natural and artificial systems and the challenges arising from the construction of machines (like software agents and robots) that act together with other machines and human beings. This topic is approached from a multidisciplinary perspective involving philosophy, artificial intelligence, computer science, cognitiveand neuroscience, robotics, social science and engineering cybernetics. There are going to be talks, discussion panels and a poster-session.

Research questions:
  • Which forms of collective or group agency are there, and how can they be explained, brought about, and controlled? 
  • How can collective agency, joint intentions and cooperation be modeled and simulated?
  • What are the bases of social cognition in natural and artificial systems?
  • Can we attribute collective agency or joint intention to a system or team involving both, human and artificial agents?
  • Which aspects have to be considered for a natural and intuitive interaction and cooperation of humans and robots? Which role do emotions play?
  • Can we hold groups morally responsible, specifically when they are involving artificial agents?

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Invited Speakers

  • Prof. Dr. Stephen Butterfill, Philosophy, University of Warwick
  • Prof. Dr. Ezequiel di Paolo, Centre for Research on Life, Mind and Society, Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of the Basque Country/Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics (CCNR)/Centre for Research in Cognitive Science at Sussex (COGS)
  • Prof. Dr. Albrecht Schmidt, Institute for Visualization and Interactive Systems (VIS), University of Stuttgart (SimTech)
  • Prof. Dr. Meike Tilebein, Diversity Studies in Engineering, University of Stuttgart (SimTech)
  • Prof. Dr. Ipke Wachsmuth, Artificial Intelligence, University of Bielefeld
  • Dr. Eckhart Arnold, Philosophy, University of Applied Sciences Coburg/ University of Düsseldorf
  • Dr. Joanna Bryson, Computer Science & AI, University of Bath
  • Dr. Hanne de Jaegher, Centre for Research on Life, Mind and Society, Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of the Basque Country
  • Dr. Serge Kernbach, Institute for Parallel and Distributed Systems (IPVS), University of Stuttgart
  • Dr. Christian Neuhäuser, Philosophy, University of Luzern
  • Dr. Marieke Rhode, Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Bielefeld
  • Dr. Mog Stapleton, Philosophy, University of Stuttgart
  • Dr. Anna Strasser, Berlin School of Mind and Brain/CILS

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  • Prof. Dr. Catrin Misselhorn, Philosophy, University of Stuttgart (SimTech)
  • Prof. Dr. Frank Allgöwer, Engineering Cybernetics, University of Stuttgart (SimTech)
  • Filip Krumpe, Computer Science, University of Stuttgart

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Information and registration

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Call for Posters

The Institute of Philosophy and the SimTech Cluster of Excellence at the University of Stuttgart invite doctoral and early career researchers to submit posters for presentation at the Collective Agency and Cooperation in Natural and Artificial Systems conference to be held at the University of Stuttgart between 22nd and 24th June.

We are pleased to be able to offer four bursaries (up to 200€ for travel plus accommodation and conference dinner) to doctoral and early career researchers who have submitted their doctoral thesis within the last two years. To apply please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words to Prof. Dr. Catrin Misselhorn (catrin.misselhorn@philo.uni-stuttgart.de) by June 1st.
More information in the pdf.

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