I collaborated on a paper with Nathaniel Virgo and Takashi Ikegami that got accepted as an oral presentation at this year’s European Conference on Artificial Life, which will be held in Paris, August 8-12. The title and abstract are:
Life as a process of open-ended becoming: Analysis of a minimal model
Tom Froese, Nathaniel Virgo, and Takashi Ikegami
We argue that the phenomenon of life is best understood as a process of open-ended becoming and that this potentiality for continuous change is expressed over a variety of timescales, in particular in the form of metabolism, behavior, development, and evolution. We make use of a minimal synthetic approach that attempts to model this potentiality of life in terms of simpler dissipative structures, using reaction-diffusion systems to produce models that exhibit these characteristics. An analysis of the models shows that its structures exhibit some instances of relevant changes, but we do not consider them open-ended enough to be called alive. Still, the models shed light on current debates about the origins of life, especially by highlighting the potential role of motility in metabolism-first evolution.
You can download the full paper of Life as a process of open-ended becoming.