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Un “Ordinateur Musicien” at Cerisy


“Un Ordinateur musicien” is the title of the talk introducing the Flow Machines project during the International Symposium on Life Science, Information Science (SCIENCES DE LA VIE, SCIENCES DE L’INFORMATION, in French), at the Cerisy International Culture Center (September 17 -24, 2016).

ordinateur musicien

The talk ‘Un Ordinateur Musicien” is part of the Workshop “Life Science, Information Science”.

The Cerisy Workshop

Scientists raise the question: What is the nature of life?  while also the question: What is information? looks  like a relevant one. This is because every living entity, even the simplest one, consist in a network of interactions and communications mobilizing an enormous quantity of information. Hence, has the word “memory” the same meaning in computer science, in biology and in ecology?

Is it true, as anticipated by the philosopher Gilbert Simondon, that information is the agent that structures the matter? Probably, molecular biology has shown the main mechanisms underlying gene expression. But one could wonder, is a gene an information or a molecular structure? Furthermore, epigenetics move on from the mechanical views regarding genes expression. Finally, at the cellular level, this stochastic expression leads to conceive the biological organization relying on a “cellular darwinian process”.

It seems that understanding the origins and evolution of life is one of the major challenges for the 21st century. How can we conceive biological evolution and the future of the biosphere and human species, in the new alliance between natural and artificial beings? This raises ethical questions. More notheworthy, is technology a social fact or a biological expression? Is the combined transformation of technology and society by the information system a new step in evolution?