Title of the seminar: The origins of artificial life and the artificial origin of life
Venue: sala de grados B, Complejo Tecnológico de Teatinos, Universidad de Málaga
Date: Tuesday, April 10 from 16:00 to 18:00
Professor, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Hugues Bersini is Professor at Université Libre de Bruxelles and Co-Director of the IRIDIA laboratory. His main research interests are modelling and control of complex systems, neural networks and fuzzy control, data mining, autonomous agents and dynamics of biological networks, computational chemistry, immune engineering, cognitive sciences and object-oriented technology. He teaches Artificial Intelligence and Object-Oriented technologies (UML, Design Patterns, Java, .Net, ...) both for academics and for enterprises. He has written nine books on information technology. He is member of the Belgium Royal Academy of Science.
Brief description of the seminar in the words of Hugues Bersini:
As a co-founder of the European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL), I will first give in this talk some very subjective impressions of what originally gives rise to this new software discipline, how it has evolved during the last twenty years and what main research avenues should it follow. Roughly said, I construe Alife as being to theoretical biology what mathematics are to physics -- a more neutral scientific endeavour aiming at providing open-minded biologists with new software tools and new formal words to describe and conceptualize the objects that they study on a daily basis. Among these objects of interest, the second and main part of my talk will concentrate on software simulation of bacterial minimal life. I see this minimal life as some form of spatiotemporal attractor that follows a succession of key bifurcations. This attractor is spatial by means of an encapsulating membrane and temporal by means of an internal autocatalytic reaction network, which sustains the membrane and the self-replication mechanism. I’ll describe some simulations of autocatalytic chemical reaction networks focusing on their topology, the presence of amplifying loops and the bifurcations that these loops are responsible for, such as the mysterious symmetry breaking which makes all living organisms homochiral.