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Artificial life conference heads to NewcastleGateshead to tackle societal challenges

An internationally renowned artificial life conference will take place in NewcastleGateshead this year it has been announced.

Hosted in Tokyo last year, the 2019 Conference on Artificial Life (ALIFE) will take place at Newcastle University 29 July – 2 August. Over 200 national and international delegates from computer science, mathematics, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and the arts are expected to meet in NewcastleGateshead to exchange latest developments in the artificial life research field.

Organised by the International Society of Artificial Life, delegates of the conference will convene to discuss the theme of ‘How can artificial life help solve societal challenges?’ This theme will run throughout the conference in the form of keynote presentations and events that apply artificial life to research in several sectors such as human behaviour, cultural evolution, urban development, and ecology.

Harold Fellermann, general chair of the 2019 Conference on Artificial Life, said: “In line with our theme, we are revisiting the very way academic conferences are run: a balanced amount of remote talks as well as broadcasting of presentations in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from flying, locally sourced plastic free catering – these are just a few of the ideas that the organizers will explore, so that us academics can realise some of the change we are advocating for.”

Paul Szomoru, director of business events at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “We are thrilled that ALIFE 2019 is coming to NewcastleGateshead, a region rich in tech, digital and sustainability expertise. Newcastle University, which is hosting it, has a global reputation for world-leading research in many of the subjects being discussed, so we feel we are the perfect destination for this audience.

“Winning the conference bid after it was hosted in Tokyo is testament to the growth of the tech and science sectors in NewcastleGateshead. It’s going to be held in the Urban Sciences Building on Newcastle Helix, a landmark 24-acre hybrid city quarter specifically built for international tech and science innovation and home to two national innovation centres for ageing and data.

“The efforts to reduce the environmental impact of this conference are not to be easily dismissed. By fusing technology, leading industry knowledge and research with social responsibility, this conference is set to have a huge impact on the progress being made to reduce the environmental effects of such events.  Eco-friendly conferencing is the way forward and from plastic-free catering to remote talks, we fully support all initiatives to achieve just that.”

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