Symbiosis, a close and long-term interaction between two or more organisms from different species, is a ubiquitous phenomenon, found at all levels of life and nearly every context that we have looked for it. Microbiomes, which exemplify symbiosis at multiple levels, play a crucial role in the functioning of most higher-level organisms, in addition to the many better-known examples of symbiosis from pollinators to parasites. Despite this prevalence in the natural world, many artificial life systems still lack the embodiment of symbiotic concepts. Although there is much to learn from systems focusing on single species, we are certainly ignoring important, emergent dynamics by excluding symbioses. Implementing symbiosis in an artificial life system presents challenges that are not easily solved in the most common approaches to artificial life. The Symbiosis in Artificial Life workshop will connect researchers interested in understanding symbiosis through artificial life by presenting the currently available models and discussing challenges, potential solutions, and next steps for the field.
The workshop will be held as part of the 2020 Conference on Artificial Life (ALIFE 2020). Like ALIFE 2020, the workshop will be online only and will have recorded invited and contributed talks with live Q&A with the keynote and submitted work authors. During the workshop time, there will also be an opportunity for participants to discuss ideas and next steps for the study of symbiosis using artificial life. The goal of the workshop is a review article summarizing the current state of the art and challenges.
We welcome anyone to participate and encourage the submission of extended abstracts of 2-4 pages (MIT Press format). We are open to submissions concerning any way that artificial life can be used to study symbiosis. Our goal is to provide a resource on current systems that can be used to study symbiosis and so submissions describing current systems without reported results are welcome. Accepted submissions will be presented as recorded videos prior to the workshop and used in the writing of a review article. Participants will also be welcomed to contribute to the review article. Abstracts must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 15, 2020.