Particle Episode 20: Takashi Ikegami

In this episode, Takashi joins us from Tokyo, Japan, and addresses how he interprets the global events occurring right now and how one event can shift everything. He discusses one of his interests in going beyond human perception in both spatial and temporal scales, and how it is applicable to the pandemic. Two pressing issues we face today, climate change and the virus, are both beyond our temporal perception, as climate change is on a scale of thousands of years, and in comparison, the virus is a few nanometers in length. Takashi also contemplates how we can bridge the large gap between the digital and real worlds, something increasingly prevalent in the time of the pandemic as we work from home, thinking about how Coronavirus is a good opportunity to update the way we understand things. He asks how we can understand the world without storytelling and discusses how AI has the ability to help us go beyond storytelling. This engaging conversation about the role of the intersection between art and science in current events is not to be missed.

Takashi Ikegami is a professor in the Department of General Systems Sciences at the University of Tokyo. His works encompasses both the arts and sciences and deal with complex systems and artificial life. He received his doctorate in physics from the University of Tokyo in 1989. His research is centered on complex systems and artificial life, a field that aims to build a possible form of life using computer simulations, chemical experiments, and robots. Some of these results were published in the book Life Emerges in Motion in 2007. Takashi Ikegami frequently attends the International Conference on Artificial Life, and gave the keynote address at the 20th Anniversary of Artificial Life conference in Winchester, UK. He is also a member of the editorial boards of Artificial Life, Adaptive Behavior, BioSystems, and Interaction Studies.