Stacks Image 116113

ISAL and ALife Conference will be providing a limited number of financial assistance awards (registration waivers or financial assistance) prioritized for students, those who are new to our community, have an accepted paper, or are traveling from afar. Deadline April 1, 2020 Apply Now Here
Deadline Approaching! Papers and Abstracts Submission Deadline March 18, 2020

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
Organizers - Vermont Complex Systems Center, University of Vermont
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.

Stacks Image 115179
ALife 2020 will be a combination of:

  • Invited Lectures
  • Parallel Sessions
  • Lightning Talks
  • Satellite Workshops/Special Sessions & Tutorials
  • Poster Session
  • Unconference Working Group Sessions

  • 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

    Stacks Image 116716

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

    Sara Walker

    Stacks Image 116738

    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

    Stacks Image 116760

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

    Michael Levin

    Stacks Image 116782

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

    Luis Zaman

    Stacks Image 117016

    Assistant Professor at University of Michigan in Complex Systems and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

    Lee Cronin

    Stacks Image 116804

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

  • Organizers
    Hosting Organization:
    Vermont Complex Systems Center, University of Vermont
    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 Education and Outreach for Complex Systems
    Laurent Hébert-Dufresne, Assistant Professor, UVM Department of Computer Science, The Vermont Complex Systems Center
  • 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.

    Stacks Image 116895

  • Important Deadlines
    ALIFE 2020 CALLS

    Workshops/Tutorials/Special Sessions Submission Deadline: February 17, 2020
    Notification of Acceptance: March 1, 2020

    Contact email for queries:

    Deadline: March 18, 2020
    Notification Date: April 17, 2020

    Contact email for queries:

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

    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 Deadline: April 30, 2020
    Regular Registration: May 1 - 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
  • Conference Anti-Harrasment Policy
    Anti Harassment Policy:

    This policy is adapted from the example available from the one written and promoted by the Ada Initiative co-founders.

    ALIFE 2020 is dedicated to providing a harassment-free workshop experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any workshop venue, including presentations. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the ALIFE 2020 at the discretion of the conference organizers. Harassment includes: offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. We expect participants to follow these rules at all time. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference. If you are being harassed, or notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a ALIFE 2020 organizer immediately. We value your attendance.