ALIFE 2020 THEME: New Frontiers in AI: What can ALife offer AI?

The fields of AI and ALife share a common history and a common approach: true understanding of living systems can only be demonstrated by successfully re-creating them using biology and/or technology. But mind and life are two of the most mysterious systems known to us, so re-creating them is exceedingly challenging, exciting and, at times, surprising. Recently, AI has "thrown down the gauntlet" by making large strides forward in understanding some aspects of intelligence, and intelligence is one of many phenomena expressed by living systems; this suggests that more big discoveries are yet to come. So, we invite you to join us, July 2020 in Montreal, to continue the search for answers to life, the universe, and everything.
Dates - July 13-18, 2020
Location - Centre Mont-Royal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
Hashtag - #ALIFE2020


ALife is the flagship conference of the International Society for Artificial Life, which aims to bring together leading researchers and practitioners working on problems related to simulating and synthesizing complex phenomena in computation, biology, artificial intelligence, robotics, philosophy, and cognitive science, just to name a few. The ALife conference has a long history of encouraging multi-disciplinary collaboration across research, business, arts, and design and we look forward to upholding this long standing tradition at the ALife 2020 conference.

The first Artificial Life workshop was held in Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1987 and brought together a (now rather legendary) group of researchers from a wide range of disciplines to explore the latest advances in the synthesis and simulation of living systems. This seminal workshop, organized by LANL and the Santa Fe Institute, gave birth to the field of Artificial Life.

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ALife 2020 will be a combination of:

  • Invited Lectures
  • Parallel Sessions
  • Tutorials
  • Lightning Talks
  • Satellite Workshops/Special Sessions
  • Poster Session

  • What Is Artifical Life?
    Artificial Life, according to Christopher Langton (ALife's first organizer) in ALife's inaugural proceedings publication, "is a field of study devoted to understanding life by attempting to abstract the fundamental dynamical principals underlying biological phenomena, and recreating these dynamics in other physical media-such as computers-making them accessible to new kinds of experimental manipulation and testing….

    In addition to providing new ways to study the biological phenomena associated with life here on Earth, life-as-we-know-it, Artificial Life allows us to extend our studies to the larger domain of the “bio-logic” of possible life, life-as-it-could-be, whatever it might be made of and wherever it might be found in the universe.

    Thus, Artificial Life is not only about studying existing life, but also about the possibility of synthesizing new life, within computers or other “artificial” media. The life that is realized in the alternative media will force us to broaden our understanding of the proper domain of biology to include self-organizing, evolving, and even “living” machines, regardless of the specific physical stuff of which they are constituted, or whether or not they are based upon the same chemical and physical principals as the life that has evolved here on Earth.”
  • Program Schedule
    Monday July 13 - Evening Keynote Lecture 18:00-19:00
    Tuesday July 14 - Saturday July 18 Main Conference
  • Invited Speakers

    Melanie Mitchell

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    Professor, Computer Science, Portland State University; External Professor, Santa Fe Institute

    Sara Walker

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    Associate Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration; Deputy Director, Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science; Associate Director, ASU-SFI Center for Biosocial Complex Systems

    Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio

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    John J. Lee Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, Take School of Engineering and Applied ScienceCenter for Biosocial Complex Systems

    Michael Levin

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    Vannevar Bush Professor; Director, Allen Discovery Center at Tufts; Director, Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental, Biology, Department of Biology, Tufts University

    Lee Cronin

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    Group Leader, Regius Chair of Chemistry, Cronin Laboratory, School of Chemistry, University of Glasgow

  • Organizers
    Conference Chair:
    Josh Bongard, Morphology, Evolution & Cognition Laboratory, Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Vermont
    Conference Organizers:
    Juniper Lovato, UVM Complex Systems Center, Director of Outreach for Complex Systems
    Laurent Hébert-Dufresne, Assistant Professor, UVM Department of Computer Science, The Vermont Complex Systems Center
    Program Committee Chair:
    Lisa Soros, Postdoctoral Researcher, New York University
    Senior Program Committee:
    Charles Ofria, Professor College of Engineering, Director of the Digital Evolution LaboratoryMichigan State University
    Wolfgang Banzhaf, John R. Koza Chair for Genetic Programming in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University
    Susan Stepney, Professor of Computer Science, University of York, UK
    Takashi Ikegami, Professor and principal investigator of the Ikegami lab, Professor in the Department of General Systems Sciences at the University of Tokyo
    Tom Froese, Assistant Professor at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST)
    Jitka Cejkova, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague
    Peter Andras, Professor of Computer Science and Informatics in the School of Computing and Mathematics of Keele University
    Randall (Randy) Beer, Provost Professor, Cognitive Science Program, Program in Neuroscience, College of Arts and Sciences, Informatics Department, Computer Science, Department, School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, Indiana University Network Science Institute, Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior, Indiana University
    Jean-Baptiste Mouret, Inria Senior Researcher
    Hiroki Sayama Director, Center for Collective Dynamics of Complex Systems (CoCo), Professor, Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering, Director, Graduate Programs in Systems Science, Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, Binghamton University;Professor (non-tenured), Faculty of Commerce, Waseda University; Affiliate, New England Complex Systems Institute
    Special Session Chairs:
    Robot Demo Session Chair: Sam Kriegman PhD student, Morphology, Evolution & Cognition Laboratory, University of Vermont
    Conference Graphics and Design
    Rob Babboni, ALife Illustrator
    Pete Moore, Pete Moore Designs, Graphic Designer
  • Location

    Location - Centre Mont-Royal
    2200 Mansfield St, Montréal, QC H3A 3R8, Canada (

    Other useful recourses inside the conference building (below 1st floor): Food court, metro station entrance, gym, convenience store, entrance to parking garage

    Located in the heart of Montreal's business and entertainment district.

    There are several parking garages located near the conference venue and one at the conference venue. For a list of nearby parking option please reference this
    parking guide.

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  • Important Deadlines
    ALIFE 2020 CALLS

    Workshops/Tutorials/Special Sessions Submission Deadline: January 17, 2020
    Notification of Acceptance: February 19, 2020

    Contact email for queries:

    Deadline: March 1, 2020
    Notification Date: March 30, 2020

    Contact email for queries:

    Deadline for submission of proposals: May 15, 2020
    Notification of acceptance: June 1, 2010
    Late-Breaking Deadline: June 15, 2010

    Contact email for queries:

    Registration fees include: access to the conference. There is no separate payment for the main conference, workshops, and other related sessions. Space is limited so please plan to register as early as possible.
    Early-Bird Registration: September 16, 2019 - January 10, 2020
    Regular Registration: January 11 - July 18, 2020 (must register by July 10 to receive a printed name tag)
    Becoming an ISAL Member: If you would like to become a member of ISAL before registering please visit the ISAL website

  • ALife Poster