School of Computer Science




This file is
Maintained by Aaron Sloman -- who does not respond to Facebook requests.
It contains an index to files in the Cognition and Affect Project's Web directory produced or published in the year 2016. Some of the papers published in this period were produced earlier and are included in one of the lists for an earlier period. Some older papers recently digitised may also be included.

Main contents list for the CogAff web site is:

A list of PhD and MPhil theses was added in June 2003

This file Last updated: 7 Jul 2016; 27 Jun 2017

Produced or published in 2016 (Approximately)

The following Contents list (in reverse chronological order) contains links to locations in this file giving further details, including abstracts, and links to the papers themselves.


CONTENTS -- FILES 2016 (Latest First)

What follows is a list of links to more detailed information about each paper. From there you can select the actual papers, in various formats, e.g. PDF, postscript and some in html, including two talks on the meta-morphogenesis project in Jerusalem, January and June, 2016


Filename: chrisley-sloman-PhilCompNL16-1.pdf(PDF)
Title: Functionalism, revisionism, and qualia.

Authors: Chrisley, Ron and Sloman, Aaron
Date Installed: 13 Nov 2017

Where published:
APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers, 16 (1). pp. 2-13. ISSN 2155-9708


We discuss revisionism about qualia--the view that tries to navigate between naive qualia realism and reductive eliminativism and discuss the relevance of our approach to AI, explainin in outline how it is possible for them to exist and to play important roles in both scientific explanations and engineering designs.

This extends the discussion in
Sloman, A., and R. Chrisley. "Virtual Machines and Consciousness",
Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (2003): 113-72.

Presentation (PDF): sloman-pacs-2016.pdf
Presentation (HTML): sloman-pacs-2016.html
Title: Robot Intelligence vs. Biological Intelligence?
A discussion based on Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Mind-Science and Philosophy

Full proceedings of conference PACS2016_Proceedings.pdf(14MB)

Invited talk at PACS 2016 (Seoul, South Korea, 27-8 October 2016):
The International Symposium on Perception, Action, and Cognitive Systems (PACS) is a premier venue for the science and engineering of embodied cognitive systems that sense, act, reason, and learn in real-world environments. The fundamental significance of embodied cognitive systems has long been recognized in science, but its industrial importance realized only recently by new technologies, such as the Internet of things, mixed reality, wearable devices, personal robots, and autonomous cars. The goal of PACS is to bring international researchers from academia and industry together to present recent progresses and discuss new frontiers in interdisciplinary research and convergence technologies for embodied cognitive systems.
Location: AT Center 27, Gangnam-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea


Alan Turing died in 1954. The Meta-Morphogenesis project is a conjectured answer to the question: what might Alan Turing have worked on if he had continued several decades after publication of his 1952 paper "The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis"[Note], instead of dying two years later? The project has many strands, including identifying what needs to be explained -- e.g. how could evolution have produced the brains of mathematicians like Pythagoras, Archimedes and Euclid?; or the brains of human toddlers who seem to make and use topological discoveries before they can talk? Or the brains of intelligent non-humans, like squirrels, weaver birds, elephants and dolphins? How did those ancient human brains make their amazing, deep discoveries over two millennia ago -- long before the development of modern logic or proof-theory? What features of the "fundamental construction kit" (FCK) provided by physics and chemistry made that possible? What sorts of "derived construction kits" (DCKs) were required at various stages of evolution of increasingly complex and varied types of biological information processing? Were some currently unrecognized forms of information processing required that will be needed by future Archimedes-like robots -- e.g. in order to be able to discover that extending Euclidean geometry with the neusis construction allows arbitrary angles to be trisected? A major task of the project is collection and analysis of examples of natural intelligence that current AI cannot match, and current neuroscience cannot explain, to help steer research towards new subgoals. One of my goals is to explain why Immanuel Kant was right about the nature of mathematical discovery in 1781 even if he missed some important details. The presentation will be a revised version of my IJCAI 2016 tutorial. An introduction and some messy notes are here: tut-ijcai-2016.html [Still being revised and extended.]
(Note: Now Turing's most-cited paper)

Invited lecture, Jerusalem 2nd June 2016
What's information? An answer from physics, biology, and philosophy
Aaron Sloman

Presented at The 30th Annual International Workshop on the History and Philosophy of Science Information and information-processing in science: Biology, Physics, and Brain & Cognitive Sciences Research Workshop of the Israel Science Foundation
Monday-Thursday, 30 May - 2 June, 2016
Recording on Youtube
Also available here: here (WEBM, 196MB)

The Meta-Morphogenesis (M-M) project was inspired by the question: "What would Turing have worked on if, instead of dying two years after publication of his morphogenesis paper (1952), he had lived several more decades?" My conjectured answer is: he would have tried to explain how a lifeless planet (or universe) could generate all the forms of life, and all the (evolved and still evolving) forms of biological information processing (including mathematical information processing resulting in Euclid's discoveries) that have existed on Earth. This includes the many forms of information-processing required for evolution by natural selection or produced as side-effects, including human uses of language for communication and much older and more wide-spread uses of internal languages for control, perception, learning, planning, desiring, etc. This talk will present some partial results concerning the nature and diversity of biological information and information processing. Most researchers focus on a subset of types of information, and information processing, with bad consequences for science and philosophy.
Online notes:

LOVELACE LECTURES Jerusalem Jan 2016
Video Recordings of a two-part lecture in Jerusalem on January 21st 2016.
Evolved construction-kits for building minds
(Evolution's deep learning.)
Speaker: Aaron Sloman
Part of the Ada Lovelace Bicentenary Lectures on Computability, 2015-2016, Jerusalem.

Summary of full programme:
My local copy of schedule, more easily navigated (no PDF):
Video recordings available on Youtube and here at Bham: ABSTRACT
This will be a highly interactive tutorial introduction to the Turing-inspired Meta-Morphogenesis Project, which brings together a host of problems and ideas about evolution of information processing, how it started on a lifeless planet, how natural selection produced branching layers of construction kits (some physical, some abstract, and some hybrid), and how these made possible increasingly complex and varied morphologies and behaviours based on increasingly complex and varied forms of information processing. Among many topics to be discussed are the unknown evolutionary precursors to human abilities to make mathematical discoveries leading up to Euclid's Elements, and related aspects of human and animal visual abilities. Support for Kant's philosophy of mathematics will be presented, along with criticisms of the visual, mathematical, and linguistic competences of current AI systems. Some possible ways of overcoming those limitations will be considered, with implications for current theories of how brains function.

Expanded abstract available here:
More information on the Meta-Morphogenesis project is available here:

Some examples of proto-mathematical perceptual capabilities that seem to use mechanisms that are precursors to the discoveries in Euclid's Elements are presented and discussed in
Some (Possibly) New Considerations Regarding Impossible Objects
Their significance for mathematical cognition,
and current serious limitations of AI vision systems.

A background paper on evolution of construction kits (Published 2017)
Ongoing work on this topic is here:

IJCAI 2016 Workshop Paper
sloman-bridging-gap-2016.pdf (PDF)
Title: Natural Vision and Mathematics: Seeing Impossibilities
(About human abilities to make discoveries in geometry and topology, and related abilities in other intelligent animals -- abilities not yet available to AI reasoning systems.)

Author: Aaron Sloman
Date Installed: 7 Jul 2016

Where published: Second Workshop on: Bridging the Gap between Human and Automated Reasoning,
at IJCAI 2016,
Eds. Ulrich Furbach and Claudia Schon, July, 9, New York, pp.86--101,


The Turing-inspired Meta-Morphogenesis project investigates forms of biological information processing produced by evolution since the earliest life forms, especially information processing mechanisms that made possible the deep mathematical discoveries of Euclid, Archimedes, and other ancient mathematicians. Such mechanisms must enable perception of possibilities and constraints on possibilities - types of affordance perception not explicitly discussed by Gibson, but suggested by his ideas. Current AI vision and reasoning systems lack such abilities. A future AI project might produce a design for "baby" robots that can "grow up" to become mathematicians able to replicate (and extend) some of the ancient discoveries, e.g. in the way that Archimedes extended Euclidean geometry to make trisection of an arbitrary angle possible. This is relevant to many kinds of intelligent organism or machine perceiving and interacting with structures and processes in the environment. This would demonstrate the need to extend Dennett's taxonomy of types of mind to include Euclidean (or Archimedean) minds, and would support Immanuel Kant's philosophy of mathematics.

Keywords: AI, Kant, Mathematics, Meta-morphogenesis, intuition, Euclid, Geometry,Topology, Kinds-of-minds, Meta-cognition, Meta-meta-cognition, etc.


Title: Notes for tutorial presented at IJCAI2016 New york

Tutorial T24: If Turing had lived longer, how might he have investigated what AI and Philosophy can learn from evolved information processing systems?
Starting with a short session on John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky, two of the founders of AI, recently deceased, both interested in connections between AI and philosophy.
Author: Aaron Sloman
Date Installed: 7 Jul 2016
Older files in this directory (pre 2016) are accessible via the main CogAff index
See also the School of Computer Science Web page.

This file is maintained by Aaron Sloman