LIFELIKE Computing Systems

What are Lifelike Computing Systems?

The Lifelike Computing Systems initiative [1] aims to learn from the study of life and living systems to develop new, practical, computing systems that possess ‘lifelike' properties; a further goal is to identify when such complex features are of particular value to people, society, and the world. The initiative's focus lies primarily on engineered technological systems broadly within the domain of computing.

The notion of ‘lifelike computing’ [2] is not intended to separate itself from or replace previous initiatives; in a large number of cases, there are already technologies and research efforts that strongly lean towards lifelike computing systems in specific aspects. Building on a long and highly successful tradition in biologically-inspired computing, the ‘lifelike’ vision not only seeks inspiration in the living world, but also seeks to replicate its qualities explicitly in technological systems. Indeed, we cannot claim that all bio-inspired systems remain lifelike, nor has this in-general even always a desirable outcome for those designing bio-inspired systems. The agenda also goes beyond fundamental ALife research, often rightly exploratory in nature, since it focuses explicitly on building purposeful and reliable technological systems for people, based on ALife principles. Therefore, the vision of explicit replication of lifelike qualities in technological systems of value to humanity, marks a sharpening of focus.


[2] Anthony Stein, Sven Tomforde, Jean Botev, Peter R. Lewis. Lifelike Computing Systems. In Proceedings of the Lifelike Computing Systems Workshop (LIFELIKE 2021) at the 19th International Conference on Artificial Life (ALIFE 2021), Prague, Czech Republic, July 2021. Available at: 


Anthony Stein

University of Hohenheim (DE)

Sven Tomforde

Kiel University (DE)

Jean Botev

University of Luxembourg (LU)

Peter Lewis

Ontario Tech University (CA) 

Supported by

German Informatics Society 

Special Interest Group
Organic Computing