ALife & Society Global Seminar Series (Next event: 26th September)

Peter Lewis

Dear all,

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 'ALife & Society' Special Session at ALife 2022! If you enjoyed that and are interested for more on the theme, or if you missed it and would like to join an international community of people exploring questions of how ALife research can benefit society, then read on to find out how!

We are rebooting the ALife & Society 'special interest group' with two complementary initiatives.

First, we will be holding a global online seminar series exploring different aspects of ALife and society, including the study of socio-technical-ecological systems, and how ALife research can be used to achieve positive social, environmental and ecological impact. We expect the seminars to run roughly once per month, and we will announce them on this list.

We are delighted that the first seminar will be given by *Dr. Alice Eldridge* from the University of Sussex.

# Date & Time
Monday 26th September @ 14:00 UTC / 10:00 EST / 23:00 JST

# Title
Investigating the acoustic dynamical complexity of natural soundscapes

# Abstract
The global biodiversity crisis is focusing our minds and tuning our ears to the possibility that we can assess ecological status by listening to natural soundscapes. The nascent ecological science of ecoacoustics understands soundscapes as highly dynamic, emergent patterns of acoustic activity which arise from the interactions between physical, biological, and anthropogenic agents. The soundscape both reflects and influences ecological processes, and therefore provides valuable information about ecological status. Two paradigms currently dominate ecoacoustics: automated recognisers, for example using deep learning to identify target species; or soundscape indices, which provide statistical or learned descriptions of the spectral or temporal structure of the global soundscape. Both show promise as cost-effective methods for environmental monitoring. However, both focus on the analysis and description of short, independent samples, obviating analysis of higher level spatio-spectro-temporal soundscape dynamics. In this talk I will introduce our plans to address this lacuna by investigating the potential for application of information-theoretic complexity metrics to measure the acoustic dynamical complexity of soundscapes. Through this work we hope to develop a complementary ecoacoustic monitoring paradigm to support the urgent global task of biodiversity conservation and restoration.

# Bio
Dr. Alice Eldridge is an interdisciplinarian with an interest in how sound organises systems. Her research integrates ideas and methods from music, cognitive science, computer science and ecology to advance theory and methods in ecoacoustics, as well as to create ecosystemic music. Alice holds a BSc in Psychology, an MSc in Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems, and a PhD in Computer Science and AI. She is currently a Reader in Sonic Systems at the University of Sussex where she is co-director of the Sussex Humanities Lab, co-director of the Experimental Music Technology Lab and a fellow of the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme.

# Meeting Link
Meeting ID: 992 4500 7248
Passcode: 392637

Second, if you are interested to get more deeply involved in activities relating to ALife & Society, including discussions, joint projects, proposals/paper writing, and collaborations with external stakeholders (and if you've reached this part of the email, we hope you are!) then in addition to the seminar series, we will be forming an ALife & Society 'Working Group'.

More details on the working group will follow, but if you are interested you can already let us know just by replying to this email to say 'hello' and let us know. Everyone who considers their research ALife-related and is interested in these topics is welcome, regardless of career stage or location.

I hope to see you at one or more of the upcoming ALife & Society events!