2014 Annual International Conference on Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures (BICA 2014)
Fifth Annual Meeting of the BICA Society
November 7-9 (Friday-Sunday): Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge,MA 02139, USA (http://bicasociety.org/meetings/2014).
Sponsors: The BICA Society; The MIT; Elsevier B.V.; DOLLabs, Inc. Points of contact: Paul Robertson (
paulr@dollabs.com) and Alexei Samsonovich (alexei@bicasociety.org)

Call for Papers

Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures (BICA) are computational frameworks for building intelligent agents that are inspired from biological intelligence.  Biological intelligent systems, notably animals such as humans, have many qualities that are often lacking in artificially designed systems including robustness, flexibility and adaptability to environments.  At a point in time where visibility into naturally intelligent systems is exploding, thanks to modern brain imaging and recording techniques allowing us to map brain structures and functions, our ability to learn lessons from nature and to build biologically inspired intelligent systems has never been greater.  At the same time, the growth in computer science and technology has unleashed enough computational power at sufficiently low prices, that an explosion of intelligent applications from driverless vehicles, to augmented reality, to ubiquitous robots, is now almost certain.  The growth in these fields challenges the computational replication of all essential aspects of the human mind (the BICA Challenge), an endeavor which is interdisciplinary in nature and promises to yield bi-directional flow of understanding between all involved disciplines.


With the scope of BICA 2014 covering all areas of BICA-related research listed below, the major thrusts will be Perception, Attention, and Language.  Here the key questions are:

  • What can we learn from biological systems about how perception, attention, decision making, and action work together to produce intelligent behavior that is robust in natural environments? 

  • What have we learned about information flow in biological systems that can aid us in building better artificial systems that combine perception, action, language, learning, and decision making in robots and intelligent agents? 

  • What have we learned recently about information flow in the brain that can lead to better cognitive models that combine perception, attention, decision making, action, language, and learning?

  • What role is played by emotions in perception, attention, decision making, language, and learning?

  • How have we, or can we incorporate into cognitive architectures new evolving understandings about flow of information in biological cognitive systems?

  • What mathematical foundations are emerging today that can support perception and learning?

In addition to these focus topic areas of BICA 2014, we encourage submission of papers in all areas of BICA research, especially in the following areas.

       “B” in BICA: useful biological constraints for cognitive architectures
       Bridging the gap between artificial and natural information processing
       Cognitive and learning mechanisms informed by neuroscience
       Neural correlates of cognitive and meta-cognitive processes
       Robustness, scalability and adaptability in neuromorphic systems
       Neurophysiological underpinnings of reinforcement learning
       Physiological mechanisms of memory formation and (re)consolidation
       Representation of contextual and conceptual knowledge in neural systems

Social, Economic and Educational Sciences:
       Mixed-initiative systems based on inspirations from biology
       Agents possessing human-level social and emotional intelligence
       BICA in learning and tutoring technologies and education
       BICA models of self and their application to perception and action
       Representation, perception, understanding and expression of emotions
       Virtual characters, artificial personalities and human-compatibility
       Agent-based modeling of intelligent social phenomena

Cognitive Science:
       Perception, reasoning, decision making and action in BICA
       Combining natural and artificial approaches to cognition
       Comparison of different forms of learning and memory
       Theory-of-Mind, episodic and autobiographical memory in cognitive systems
       Introspection, metacognitive reasoning and self-awareness in BICA
       Models of learning and memory: robustness, flexibility, transferability
       Natural language and its role in intelligence, cognition and interaction
       Unifying frameworks and constraints for cognitive architectures

Artificial Intelligence:
       Creativity, goal reasoning and autonomy in artifacts
       Embodied vs. ambient intelligence
       Language capabilities and social competence
       Learning by reading, by observation, by reasoning and analogy
       Robust and scalable machine learning mechanisms
       Self-regulated learning, bootstrapped and meta-learning
       The place for BICA in the textbook of artificial intelligence

      Mathematical basis for BICA and fundamental theoretical questions in BICA research
      Alternative substrates for implementation of BICA: smart materials, quantum and biocomputing
      Alternative approaches to the development of BICA such as: evolutionary, system-theoretic, educational.
      Fundamental practical and theoretical questions in BICA research and technology
      Cognitive Decathlon and Grand Challenges for BICA as components of the BICA Challenge
      Critical mass for a universal human-level learner and a roadmap to the BICA Challenge
      Metrics, tests, proximity measures and the roadmap to human-level / human-compatible AI
      Leveraging the cloud, world-wide-web, and social-media: possible role for BICA?
      Interdisciplinary research opportunities
      International trends in funding BICA related research

Format and Agenda

The format of the conference is a 3-day meeting including paper presentations, panel discussions, invited talks, and demonstration showcases. Symposia and other mini-events (special sessions, breakout groups, brainstorms, think-tanks, socials, contests, and more) as part of the conference will be added as needed (proposals are solicited). In addition, BICA 2014 will host a special track "Doctorial Consortium" for which a "best student paper" award will be presented.  We will also host technology demonstrations, for which we solicit proposals, and a poster session.  We solicit additionally proposals for panel topics. The working language is English. As a part of our rich social and cultural program included in the registration, we are planning a Welcome Reception and a boat trip into the Atlantic on Saturday night, with a banquet on the boat.

Detailed program will be available on this separate page.

Please see our separate pages for
Confirmed symposia planned as part of BICA 2014.

Conference and Publication Venues: please see this separate page

Organizing Committees: please see this separate page

Submission Preparation: please see this separate page

Important Dates: please see this separate page*

*Deadlines currently should be negotiated with the Organizers.
** Procedia Computer Sciente is an open-access peer-refereed journal published by Elsevier. This journal is specialized on publication of papers presented at conferences in Computer Science. Procedia Computer Science is indexed by the Thomson Reuters Web of Science and by Scopus, among many other indices. Please see
the journal web page or a sample article.

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