What is a brain? And how is it different from a computer? And is society a large brain whose parts are animals? Over the last few decades advances in measurement and in theory have provided entirely new insights into the nature of the brain and important clues about both its limitations and the many ways in which it might be improved or bettered through artificial intelligence.
The brain has shifted from being thought of as a giant soft walnut in the cranium—whose function is to merely integrate perceptual inputs, coordinate behavior, and store memory—to becoming one part of an embodied and distributed mechanism of prediction and control.
Within this larger framework of the complex brain, behavior, social structure, and technology become parts of an integrated information processing system that seeks to encode all of the adaptively salient features of the expanding world in which it lives.
In this meeting we shall present unified frameworks of computation and cognition that expand the purview of thought beyond the brain and into the body and world, exploring topics such as embodied cognition, cognitive artifacts, collective computation, institutional information processing, and artificial intelligence.