Digital Biota II
Aaron Sloman, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science
School of Computer Science, The University of Birmingham

Aaron Sloman was born in Southern Rhodesia in 1936, took a degree in mathematics and physics at Cape Town in 1956, followed by a DPhil in philosophy at Oxford in 1962, having found philosophy more fun (and easier!) than mathematics.

After teaching philosophy for several years, he met the late Max Clowes at Sussex University in 1969 who converted him to the view that artificial intelligence provided the best context in which to investigate many old philosophical problems e.g. about the nature of language, mind, knowledge, and metaphysics.

After a year learning about AI in Edinburgh in 1972-3 as SRC senior visiting fellow he returned to Sussex where he later helped to found the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences, and wrote The Computer
Revolution in Philosophy (1978). He continued working on philosophy, on the architecture of a visual system, and tools for teaching and research in AI, including managing the development of Poplog, a sophisticated multi-language AI development environment (used in Clementine).

After 27 years at Sussex he wanted a change and in 1991 moved to the School of Computer Science in the University of Birmingham, where he collaborates with members of the School of Psychology. He is still working on AI tools (e.g. the SIM_AGENT toolkit), hybrid architectures for intelligent agents, the evolution of consciousness, architectural support for motivation and emotions, issues concerned with
representation, mathematical thinking, vision, and related philosophical problems.

All this requires trying to straddle more disciplines than he can cope with!

He was a Rhodes Scholar 1957-1960, elected fellow of the American Association for AI in 1991 and in 1997 honorary life fellow of AISB. One day he will write a sequel to the 1978 book.

Most of his recent publications are to be found in the Cognition and Affect project directory at Birmingham and a collection of discussion notes, email debates and half-baked papers in

His software tools, implemented in Pop-11, can be found in

Abstract of discussion:
"What sorts of Brains can support what sorts of minds?"
(abstract located at a remote ftp site)

call for participation
further information

Digital Biota 2 is sponsored by

CyberLife Technology