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Models of Consciousness 2024

University of Bamberg
September 30 – October 4, 2024

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

▸ MoC5 Main Page ▸ Practical InformationRegistrationTalk Application


Dear friends and colleagues,

On behalf of the Association for Mathematical Consciousness Science, the Institute for Psychology of the University of Bamberg, the Centre for Philosophy and AI Research of Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen–Nuremberg, and the MPE-Project, we are delighted to announce the fifth Models of Consciousness conference (MoC5). The conference is devoted to bringing together researchers whose scientific activities relate to mathematical approaches in the scientific study of consciousness and welcomes members of all fields in consciousness science to join and present their research. This year’s edition of the conference will furthermore feature the following core themes:

Consciousness of Artificial Intelligence

Mathematical Structure and Spaces of Conscious Experiences

Minimal Phenomenal Experience

The MoC conference series began at the University of Oxford in 2019 and was held at Stanford University in 2022 and Oxford University in 2023. Future venues are Tokyo in 2025 and Shanghai in 2026. We are delighted to host the 2024 version at Bamberg University in central Germany from September 30 to October 4, 2024.

The conference comprises a diverse programme of activities designed to maximize opportunities to advance the scientific goals of the field, including a range of talk options available based on applications, discussion sessions on open questions, and a colourful social programme. Participation is by registration only; the link is at the bottom of this page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Bamberg!

The MoC5 organising committee.

Conference Programme

Invited speakers

We are delighted to welcome the following invited speakers to Models of Consciousness 5!

—–Topic
(Talk titles will be announced here closer to date.**)
Nihat Ay
Head of the Institute for Data Science Foundations,
Hamburg University of Technology
Santa Fe Institute
AI Consciousness
Charlotte Gauvry
Center for Science & Thought,
University of Bonn
Borderline Cases of Synthetic Consciousness
Christoph Benzmüller
Chair for AI Systems Engineering
Department of Information Systems and Applied Computer Sciences
University of Bamberg*
AI Consciousness – From the Perspective of a Logician
Martine Nida-Rümelin
Department of Philosophy
Université de Fribourg
Philosophy of Consciousness
Manuel Blum
Bruce Nelson Professor of Computer Science,
Carnegie Mellon University
Turing Award Winner
AI Consciousness
Ute Schmid
Head of Cognitive Systems Group
Department of Information Systems and Applied Computer Sciences
University of Bamberg*
Can AI systems simulate or have consciousness?
Joel Frohlich
Institute for Neuromodulation and Neurotechnology,
University of Tübingen
Infant and Fetal Consciousness
Heleen Slagter
Director of the Cognition & Plasticity Laboratory, Department of Applied and Experimental Psychology,
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Minimal Phenomenal Experience
Henry Shevlin
Associate Director,
Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence,
University of Cambridge
AI Consciousness
*Shared keynote **50 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions

Apply to give a talk!

The conference hosts various opportunities for participants to present their research to the community. (Participants are also welcome to attend without giving a talk.)

Participant talks

Participants are invited to apply to present their research in a 25-minute talk slot (20 minutes for the talk plus 5 minutes for questions).

Showcase talks

A small number of talk applications may be selected by the organising committee to be “showcase talks” that attract the offer of a 30 or 40-minute non-parallel talk slot.

Lightning talks

Participants are invited to apply to present a 5-minute lightning talk.

For details regarding the application to all talks, please see our talk application page. The deadline for all application submissions is 30 June 2024.

Discussion sessions

Following the spirit and tradition of previous MoC conferences, discussion sessions in small groups are an integral part of the conference. These give participants a chance to discuss open questions in the field and are intended to help develop a shared sense of purpose and long-term goals among researchers who work on mathematical approaches in the scientific study of consciousness.

Each discussion session will focus on a specific question, related to models of consciousness, the development of Mathematical Consciousness Science, characterization and classification of research projects, and similar topics that focus on bringing greater clarity and transparency to the field. Participants will also be able to suggest and vote on topics using the conference’s web interface during the conference.

Core Themes

We are delighted to announce that Models of Consciousness 5 comprises the following core themes. (Please note that contributed talk applications are open to any topic, however.)

AI Consciousness

The question of whether Artificial Intelligence is, or can be, conscious. Can AI feel? Is there something it is like to be an AI system? Synthetic Phenomenology. AI Sentience.

Structural Approaches

The study and use of mathematical spaces and mathematical structures to describe, represent, or model conscious experience and phenomenology in experimental, theoretical, and conceptual research. Structuralism. Measurement theory. Quality spaces. Phenomenal spaces. Experience spaces. Qualia structure. Phi structure.

Minimal Phenomenal Experience

Minimal models of conscious experience, of awareness “as such.” Investigations of the phenomenology and neural correlates of minimal subjective experiences; meditation as main entry point. Episodes of “pure consciousness.” See:
https://mpe-project.info/

Social Programme

Excursion

In tradition of earlier meetings, the first day of the conference is devoted to an excursion that allows participants to connect and discuss their ideas, research and interests on a one-on-one basis.

For MoC5, we are excited to host an excursion that features technology, modern art and local culture:

© München Tourismus, Annika Mittelmeier

Morning: Guided tour of the German Museum of Masterpieces of Science and Technology in Munich.

Afternoon: Participants can choose to either visit the iconic Oktoberfest in Munich, or visit the famous Pinakothek der Moderne museum of modern art.

For details on the excursion, see our Practical Information page.

Image © München Tourismus, Annika Mittelmeier

Conference Dinner

Participants are invited to join the conference dinner in one of Bamberg’s most romantic restaurants, located within the historic Michaelsberg Abbey. The restaurant has been selected to feature both haut cuisine and affordable options for students.

Image by rawpixel on Freepik.

Socializing

Outside of conference activities, Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and once centre of the Holy Roman Empire, offers a host of opportunities for cultural and social activities. Stay tuned for details!

More Information

For more information, please visit the conference’s subpages:


▸ MoC5 Main Page ▸ Practical InformationRegistrationTalk Application

Conference Videos


Video recordings of previous conferences are available on the conference’s YouTube channel.

Conference Booklet

The conference booklet will be made available on this website 3-4 weeks before the conference.

Poster

A conference poster will be made available here shortly.

Carbon offsetting

The AMCS constitution includes an environmental policy that commits the association to pay particular attention to how carbon offsetting can be incorporated into plans for international events such as conferences.
Accordingly, the conference registration fee includes an optional flat carbon offsetting charge.

Over MoC3 and MoC4, a total of €10,817.00 was raised and paid to Atmosfair, a German non-profit organization that actively specialises in CO₂ mitigation by promoting, developing and financing renewable energies in over 15 countries worldwide. Many thanks to all those paying the MoC5 offsetting levy.

How to join the conference?

We invite researchers of all disciplines who have an interest in the scientific study of consciousness to join MoC5.

▸ Participation in the conference requires registration using the online registration form.
▸ Details about travel, accommodation, and the venue are available on our practical information page.
▸ If you would like to give a talk, please apply using our talk application form.

Deadline for registration: 31 August 2023.

Organisers and Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Ian Durham
Department of Physics, Saint Anselm College, USA

Lenore Blum
Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science Emerita, Carnegie Mellon University

Claus H. Carstensen
Head of Psychological Methods of Educational Research, University of Bamberg

Vincent C. Müller
Director of the Centre for Philosophy and AI Research,
Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg

Yakov Kremnitzer
Oxford Mathematics of Consciousness and Applications Network, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, UK

Thomas Metzinger
Director, Minimal Phenomenal Experience Research Network
Institute for Theoretical Philosophy, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Adjunct Fellow, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies

Organisers

Johannes Kleiner
Institute for Psychology, University of Bamberg & Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy & Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Jonathan Mason
Oxford Mathematics of Consciousness and Applications Network, UK

Keenan Down
Cambridge Consciousness & Cognition Lab and Queen Mary University of London

Sascha Benjamin Fink
Centre for Philosophy of AI Research, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg

Wanja Wiese
Institute for Philosophy II, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

Sophie Taylor
Queensland University of Technology

Robert Prentner
Institute of Humanities, ShanghaiTech University

Robin Lorenz
Quantinuum

Organising and Supporting Institutions

University of Bamberg

Institute for Psychology

University of Erlangen–Nuremberg

Centre for Philosophy and AI Research

Queen Mary University of London

School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

ShanghaiTech University

Institute of Humanities

Ruhr University Bochum

Institute for Philosophy II

Saint Anselm College

Department of Physics

Oxford Mathematics of Consciousness and Applications Network

Stiftung Bewusstseinskultur

Association for Mathematical Consciousness Science

Contact

In case of any question, please do not hesitate to contact us at moc5-organisers@amcs.science.



▸ MoC5 Main Page ▸ Practical InformationRegistrationTalk Application

Main picture from Wikimedia Commons, shared under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Pictures of artwork of the Pinakothek der Moderne from Wikipedia.