Bishop and AI news

Stephen Hawking thinks computers may surpass human intelligence and take over the world. This view is based on the ideology that all aspects of human mentality will eventually be realised by a program running on a suitable compu...


Connection Science

All individual members of The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour have a personal subscription to the Taylor Francis journal Connection Science as part of their membership. How to Acce...


Al-Rifaie on BBC

AISB Committee member and Research Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London, Dr Mohammad Majid al-Rifaie was interviewed by the BBC (in Farsi) along with his colleague Mohammad Ali Javaheri Javid on the 6 November 2014. He was a...


Rose wins the Loebne...

After 2 hours of judging at Bletchley Park, 'Rose' by Bruce Wilcox was declared the winner of the Loebner Prize 2014, held in conjunction with the AISB.  The event was well attended, film live by Sky News and the special guest jud...


AISB Convention 2015

The AISB Convention is an annual conference covering the range of AI and Cognitive Science, organised by the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour. The 2015 Convention will be held at the Uni...


Yasemin Erden on BBC

AISB Committee member, and Philosophy Programme Director and Lecturer, Dr Yasemin J. Erden interviewed for the BBC on 29 October 2013. Speaking on the Today programme for BBC Radio 4, as well as the Business Report for BBC world N...


Mark Bishop on BBC ...

Mark Bishop, Chair of the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour, appeared on Newsnight to discuss the ethics of ‘killer robots’. He was approached to give his view on a report raising questions on the et...


AISB YouTube Channel

The AISB has launched a YouTube channel: ( The channel currently holds a number of videos from the AISB 2010 Convention. Videos include the AISB round t...



AISB event Bulletin Item

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Socratic Dialogue 'What is my responsibility to my community?', London 1 June 2013, St. Marys University College, London


You are cordially invited to take part in a Socratic Dialogue on the question 'What is my 
responsibility tomy community?'. The costs for participating are 10, and include coffee, 
tea, cake, and lunch. Students, unemployed,  etc. can pay the reduced fee of 1 pound. The 
facilitators will be Sarah Banks (Durham) and Marije Altorf (St. Marys University College).

For directions, please see the website of the University College 

For more information and enrolment, please contact Marije Altorf 
(e-mail:, tel.: 020 8240 2351.

What is Socratic Dialogue?
Socratic Dialogue is a method of philosophical enquiry, first designed by the German philosopher 
Leonard Nelson (1882-1927) and further developed by his students, especially Gustav Heckmann 
(1898-1996). Nelson was a German mathematician and philosopher who, inspired by Socrates, 
Immanuel Kant and Kant-interpreter Jakob Fries created his own Socratic method.

Socratic dialogue allows for a very different way of engaging with philosophical issues. Rather 
than gathering evidence and thought from other resources, participants in a Socratic dialogue 
test their own ideas. You do not need to be a philosopher to take part. You only need to be 
prepared to use your reason and be willing to revisit positions.

Socratic dialogues in the Nelson tradition often (but not always, and not necessarily) have 
the following form. A small group of people (ideally between six and twelve) share an interest 
in a philosophical (or mathematical) question. By a philosophical question is meant a question 
that can be answered by the use of reason alone. Examples of such questions are: What is 
friendship? What are the limits of tolerance? What is courage? What is a just decision? Are 
there unselfish acts? Am I allowed to lie? How do I know that a statement is correct? What 
is professional integrity? and, What is learning?. Guided by a facilitator, who - unlike 
Socrates - does not take part in the content of the dialogue, participants investigate this 
question through an example given by one of the participants from his or her own experience. 
This example is one which interests the other participants and which they can recognise. By 
discussing this example they try to form a judgment, which will then need to be verified.
Through this process participants learn intellectual virtues like revisiting ones ideas, 
trusting doubt, listening to one another, persistency, etc. In Nelsons Socratic dialogue this 
pursuit involves all participants, who function as each others midwives.

For more information on Socratic Dialogue, see