Hybrid Life: Integrating Biological, Artificial, and Cognitive Systems

by   Manuel Baltieri, et al.

Artificial life is a research field studying what processes and properties define life, based on a multidisciplinary approach spanning the physical, natural and computational sciences. Artificial life aims to foster a comprehensive study of life beyond "life as we know it" and towards "life as it could be", with theoretical, synthetic and empirical models of the fundamental properties of living systems. While still a relatively young field, artificial life has flourished as an environment for researchers with different backgrounds, welcoming ideas and contributions from a wide range of subjects. Hybrid Life is an attempt to bring attention to some of the most recent developments within the artificial life community, rooted in more traditional artificial life studies but looking at new challenges emerging from interactions with other fields. In particular, Hybrid Life focuses on three complementary themes: 1) theories of systems and agents, 2) hybrid augmentation, with augmented architectures combining living and artificial systems, and 3) hybrid interactions among artificial and biological systems. After discussing some of the major sources of inspiration for these themes, we will focus on an overview of the works that appeared in Hybrid Life special sessions, hosted by the annual Artificial Life Conference between 2018 and 2022.


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