21 October 2016- Steven Ericsson-Zenith  gives the seventh Tungsten Public Lecture at TCIDA, "Biophysical Motion: Life and Living, Feeling and Thinking, Response"

The sixth Tungsten Public Lecture by Steven Ericsson- Zenith (Principal Investigator at the Institute for Advanced Science & Engineering in Los Gatos, California).

To be complete, biophysics must include the unique effect of our senses and mind. Our sensations and thoughts produce motions that defy simple physics. To support these motions I propose a novel basis of experience, one equal in status to gravitation and light.

In a fluid environment, this biophysical basis allows a holomorphic shaping upon the surface of flexible closed structure (cells and membranes) allowing the formation of sense/response hyperfunctors. This approach enables the mathematization of sense, thought, and memory, with covariant response potentials.

A particular shape in the biophysical structure is a particular sensation, thought, or memory that covaries with the response.

Physical law is algebraically covariant and so we may extend from this mathematical view of biology, including sensation and thought, to a unified cosmology, successfully including biology in the physical sciences.

In the twentieth-century, physical science has not allowed for these deliberate or automatic motions in biophysics. It has explicitly excluded the motion between a simple sensation or considered intention and response.

If we look at physiology in terms of conventional physics we can only account for some motions but not broad allosteric motions that lead to complex behavior. We are coming to understand biochemistry, but there is nothing in known physical science that allows an exact account of these unique motions, motions that are the consequence of sensation or the mind.

Taking such an approach also suggests a new model of computation, one that leads to the engineering of machines-that-experience.


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2 September 2016 Sebastian Danicic's Gedenkschrift.  

A memorial day to celebrate the life of Sebastian Danicic, reader in the department of computing (2000-2015).As one of the co-founders for TCIDA (Tungsten Centre of Intelligent Data Analytics at Goldsmiths) a commercially funded academic Centre at Goldsmiths (£1.5m over three years) and a strong publication record (h-index 22;over 1800 citations- five papers with over a hundred citations each), Sebastian was well known in the world of computing and this day well celebrate his far reaching intellectual contributions in theoretical Computer Science and his broader contribution to academic life at Goldsmiths.

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7 June 2016- Mario Villalobos gives the sixth Tungsten Public Lecture at TCIDA, "Autopoietic theory" 

The sixth Tungsten Public Lecture by Mario Villalobos (associate Professor of Philosophy at the school of Psychology ad Philosophy, University go Tarapaca)on Autopeitic Theory. 

In cognitive science, computationalism is the thesis that natural cognitive systems are computing systems. Computing systems, traditionally, have been understood as systems that receive inputs, manipulate some form of internal representation, and emit outputs.In opposition to this view, enactivism claims that natural cognitive
systems are not computing systems. Cognitive systems, according to enactivism, are non-representational autonomous systems (meaning they are not input-output systems).Put things this way, enactivists seem to have good reasons to think that computationalism is incompatible with their view of cognitive systems. But is this really so?

In this presentation, building on Maturana's autopoietic theory, I argue that there is no such incompatibility. Firstly, according to recent mechanistic computational theories, computing systems are not necessarily representational systems. That is, if cognitive systems are non-representational systems, as enactivists think they are, nothing appears to prevent that they may also be computing systems. Secondly, I argue that computing systems may exhibit the kind of autonomy that enactivists think is distinctive of cognitive systems. That is, if cognitive systems are autonomous systems, as enactivists think they are,
nothing appears to prevent that they may also be computing systems. In summary, I argue that viewing cognitive systems as enactive systems is not incompatible with viewing them as computing systems. In removing some of the barriers that separate computationalism and enactivism, I hope to motivate, in both computationalists and enactivists, the exploration of integrative research programs in cognitive science.

Villalobos obtained a Masters degree in philosophy at the university of Chile and received his PhD in Philosophy of Mind and cognitive science from the University of Edinburgh. His main areas of researcher the autopietic theory of living beings. the inactive approach and cybernetics. 

27 January 2016 - Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh gives the fifth Tungsten Public Lecture at TCIDA, "Quantum Linguistics"

The fifth Tungsten Public Lecture by Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh (Lecturer in computer science at Queen Mary, University of London) on Quantum Linguistics.

Mathematical models of natural language can be organised into logical and statistical theories. The former are based on grammatical structures of phrases and sentences and the latter on distributions of words in corpora of text. In joint work with Clark and Coecke, we developed a unifying framework where the distributions of words are composed to form distributions for phrases and sentences. This expanded the application domains of the statistical models -- e.g. automatic reasoning about similarity -- from words to phrases and sentences. On the theoretical side, our model extends the current setting from vectors to tensors. Tensors are main players in the mathematical models of quantum mechanics. In this talk, I will briefly review the theory and applications of our model in simple terms and through examples. I will then show how 'entanglement', a concept arising from tensors in quantum mechanics, manifests itself and is used as a resource in the linguistic applications.

Mehrnoosh's undergraduate and masters studies were from Sharif University in Iran. They did a PhD at university of Quebec at Montreal while being an academic visitor in University of Oxford, where later in 2008, they were awarded an EPSRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Wolfson College Research Fellowship, and in 2011, an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship. At the moment, Mehrnoosh is a lecturer in computer science at Queen Mary, University of London. Her main research interests are logical and mathematical tools/theories and their applications to artificial intelligence.


13 January 2015 - Stephen Cowley gives the fourth Tungsten Public Lecture at TCIDA

The fourth Tungsten Public Lecture by Stephen Cowley (Faculty of Language & Communication, University of Southern Denmark).


9 December 2015 - Peter Simons gives the third Tungsten Public Lecture at TCIDA, "Ontology and Ontologies: Relations, Applications, Limitations"

The third Tungsten Public Lecture by Peter Simons (Professor of Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin) on Ontology and Ontologies: Relations, Applications, Limitations.

The word ‘ontology’ comes from philosophy and denotes a part of metaphysics concerned with the most general categories of being. In informatics it denotes any conceptual scheme dealing with a given domain, usually subject to certain normative controls but relatively independent of detailed implementation.There are dozens if not hundreds of ontologies in the latter sense. So the question arises as to whether there are criteria for preferring or choosing one ontology over another, and what role, if any, the philosophical discipline may play in such considerations. Drawing on his experience both as a philosophical ontologist and as a software engineering consultant, the speaker will attempt to articulate what constitutes a good ontology, what –– and what not –– to expect from it, and how helpful it may be in solving theoretical and practical problems.

Peter Simons is Professor of Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. He is the author or co-author of four books and over 250 articles on many aspects of philosophy, with an emphasis on metaphysics and its applications. A Fellow of the British, Royal irish and European Academies, he has worked in Ireland, the UK, and Austria, and has taught and given numerous talks around Europe, North America and Asia.


18 November 2015 - Mohammad Majid al-Rifaie gives the second Tungsten Public Lecture at TCIDA, "Unleashing the Intelligence of Swarms on Data Clustering"

The second Tungsten Public Lecture by Mohammad Majid al-Rifaie (Researcher at Goldsmiths University) on Unleashing the Intelligence of Swarms on Data Clustering

The use of clustering in various applications is key to its popularity in data analysis and data mining. Algorithms used for optimisation can be extended to perform clustering on a dataset.

In this talk, a swarm intelligence technique – Stochastic Diffusion Search – is deployed for clustering purposes. This algorithm has been used in the past as a multi-agent global search and optimisation technique. In the context of this research, the algorithm is applied to a clustering problem, tested on the classical Iris dataset and its performance is contrasted against nine other clustering techniques.

The outcome of the comparison highlights the promising and competitive performance of the proposed method in terms of the quality of the solutions and its robustness in classification. This research serves as a proof of principle of the novel applicability of this algorithm in the field of data clustering.


7 October 2015 - Mark Coeckelbergh presents the first Tungsten Public Lecture at TCIDA, "The Phenomenology of Dancing with Robots"

The first Tungsten Public Lecture by Mark Coeckelbergh (Professor of Technology and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University) on The Phenomenology of Dancing with Robots.

When philosophers of technology look at technological practices they tend to overlook the area of dance and performance. This is unfortunate, since technology and materiality also plays a role in dance, and contemporary dance practices often explicitly thematize the relation between humans and digital technology. It is a site where interests from philosophy of technology, philosophy of mind-body, cognitive science (embodied cognition), dance studies, and so on can meet. This talk zooms in on some dance practices in which robots play a role, tries to conceptualize the human-technology relation(s) in such encounters and interactions, and asks how moving machines and moving with machines shape the dance experience and subjectivity of the dancer. The speaker also seeks to explore, together with the audience, how these experiences of dancing with robots differ from other technologically mediated dance experiences, and what kind of dance-technology experiments could be done to further develop this research.

Mark Coeckelbergh is Professor of Technology and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University, UK. He has a background in philosophy (PhD University of Birmingham, UK) and is also engaged in interdisciplinary research, for instance in European projects DREAM and SATORI and in a collaboration with researchers in dance studies. His publications include Growing Moral Relations (2012), Human Being @ Risk (2013), Environmental Skill (2015), Money Machines (2015) and numerous articles in the area of philosophy of technology, in particular the ethics of robotics and ICTs. Currently he is interested in the phenomenology of robots and dance.