Norman Packard: Agency in electronic-chemical-biological hybrid systems

I will discuss experiments with an electronic device made by the MICREAgents project, a 128×128 lattice of ‘smart’ electrodes.  The electrodes are programmable from a host (connected by USB, with ipython notebook client),  and they may interact with electrochemically and/or biologically active environments in a droplet lying over the device.  One goal of these experiments is to implement evolutionary processes.  I will discuss emergence of agency in such systems, focusing on the issues of definition and detection, both in theory and in experimental praxis.