Prof. Dr. Christopher Kelty

Christopher Kelty works at UCLA, is the author of “Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software”, co-edits the scholarly magazine “Limn”, and does research on intellectual property, piracy, robots and evolution, freedom, responsibility and other pathologies of software and computing.



"These aren't the droids you are looking for...": Simulation and participation in the study of evolution and life

Recent research in evolutionary biology has begun to employ robots to understand, test or confirm aspects of evolutionary theory. But robots in these experiments always come with a double: simulated robots. In an experiment designed from the get-go to simulate life by using robots, what do simulated robots simulate? This presentation will explore examples of the use of robots to study predictions from evolutionary theory, such as Hamilton's rule, kin selection, or the evolution of communication. It proposes thinking through robots as simulacra or assemblage, rather than as representational or idealized expressions, and raises questions that cross the philosophy of simulation and the philosophy of technology.