Call for Participation


Greetings! We are delighted to invite you to present and/or publish your work at the 11th BICA*AI conference!

  • Publication venues include Elsevier's Cognitive Systems Research (JCR IF=1.4) and Springer's AISC
  • We welcome all forms of participation (with or without a paper), including VR.
  • In this year we host a Joint Virtual Reality Track (JVRT), unifying BICA*AI 2020, IOSBICS 2020 (a part of CAICS 2020), and ITR 2020 on Oct 10-11, in addition to the main virtual event on November 10-15, affiliated with Robotica 2020.
  • Main point of contact is Alexei Samsonovich (

We are looking forward to seeing you in our Virtual Convention Center!

--Alexei and Ricardo, the organizers


Call for Papers and Talks

We solicit submissions of papers and talk abstracts in all domains of science and technology that directly or indirectly may help us to make an advance toward the BICA Challenge. Specifically, submissions in the following areas are expected.


Artificial Intelligence:
  • Creativity, goal reasoning and autonomy in artifacts

  • Embodied vs. ambient intelligence

  • Language capabilities and social competence

  • Learning by reading, by observation, by reasoning and analogy

  • Robust and scalable machine learning mechanisms

  • Self-regulated learning, bootstrapped and meta-learning

  • The role of emotions in artificial intelligence and their BICA models

  • Tests and metrics for BICA in the context of the BICA Challenge

Cognitive Science:
  • Perception, reasoning, decision making and action in BICA

  • Combining natural and artificial approaches to cognition

  • Comparison of different forms of learning and memory

  • Theory-of-Mind, episodic and autobiographical memory in cognitive systems

  • Introspection, metacognitive reasoning and self-awareness in BICA

  • Models of learning and memory: robustness, flexibility, transferability

  • Natural language and its role in intelligence, cognition and interaction

  • Unifying frameworks and constraints for cognitive architectures

  • Bridging the gap between artificial and natural information processing

  • Cognitive and learning mechanisms informed by neuroscience

  • Neural correlates of cognitive and meta-cognitive processes

  • Robustness, scalability and adaptability in neuromorphic systems

  • Neurophysiological underpinnings and implications of deep learning models

  • Physiological mechanisms of memory formation and (re)consolidation

  • Representation of contextual and conceptual knowledge in neural systems

Social, Economic and Educational Sciences:
  • Mixed-initiative systems based on inspirations from studies on brain and mind.

  • Agents possessing human-level social and emotional intelligence

  • BICA in learning and tutoring technologies and education

  • BICA models of self and their application to perception and action

  • Representation, perception, understanding and expression of emotions

  • Virtual characters, artificial personalities and human-compatibility

  • Agent-based modeling of intelligent social phenomena

  • Mathematical basis for BICA and fundamental theoretical questions in BICA research

  • Alternative substrates for implementation of BICA: smart materials, neuromorphic, quantum and biocomputing

  • Alternative approaches to the development of BICA such as: evolutionary, system-theoretic, educational

  • Fundamental practical and theoretical questions in BICA research and technology

  • Cognitive Decathlon and Grand Challenges for BICA as components of the BICA Challenge

  • Critical mass for a universal human-level learner and a roadmap to the BICA Challenge

  • Metrics, tests, proximity measures and the roadmap to human-level / human-compatible AI

  • Leveraging the cloud, world-wide-web, and social-media: possible role for BICA in big data?

  • Interdisciplinary research opportunities and ideas for new initiatives

  • International trends in funding of BICA research

Format and Agenda

The format of the conference is a 2-day virtual event in October plus the main virtual event in November, not counting the many test sessions. The meeting will include paper presentations, plenary talks, panel discussions, invited talks, and demonstration showcases - all hosted in a virtual environment. In addition, BICA*AI 2020 is happening in parallel and in affiliation with the Robotica 2020 Conference - please see (both virtual events are free for those who do not publish a paper). The working language is English.

Publication Venues

BICA*AI 2020 accepted papers and abstracts will be made available on the conference web-site, protected by a password to be distributed to all registered participants (this volume will not constitute a separate publication). Additionally, each article may be published in one of the two official BICA*AI 2020 venues:

  • A Springer AISC book with the Proceedings of the BICA2020*AI - Annual International Conference on Brain-Inspired Cognitive Architectures for Artificial Intelligence, with a collection of 6-page articles (extra pages might be possible, but will require the payment of additional Extra Page Fees).

  • A Special Issue of the Cognitive Systems Research journal, published by Elsevier, containing revised and extended versions of the best papers in BICA*AI 2020. The article size in this modality of submission is not limited to 6 pages, and there are no fees for extra pages.

Modalities of Submission

Unpublished Abstracts:

  • Distributed in the electronic volume of proceedings and in the Program brochure. Even though these will become available to all conference participants, they do not constitute a formal publication. This modality of submission is meant for preliminary ideas or work-in-progress you want to share with the community but are not yet ready to make a formal publication.

  • Stand-alone abstracts: up to 500 words, with the first 150 word solid paragraph constituting a self-contained abstract for the Program brochure.

  • 2-page extended abstract: formatted as a Paper for the Springer Book with a 150 word abstract.

Papers for the Springer Book:
  • Six page research or position paper (minimal length is 4 pages), including an approximately 150 word abstract. Every additional page should be covered by a fee of US$ 50 at the time of registration. This fee is set to discourage additional pages while not strictly enforcing this limit.

Papers for the Cognitive Systems Research Journal:
The general format is Research Article, which includes:

  • Brief communications of new findings (minimum 6,000 words).

  • Full Research Articles: approximately 8,000 to 20,000 words.

Modalities of Presentation

Independently from the modality of submission, you will be invited to choose from amongst the following modalities of presentation, or will be assigned one. All presentations will be virtual.

Virtual Talk, Keynote or Discussion Panelist:
In this modality of presentation, you are expected to be personally present online during the conference to present your work, in a pre-scheduled time slot in the conference program. You need to make sure that you have a good microphone, camera and a stable broadband Internet connection. Same conditions relate to live session chairs and moderators.

Virtual Poster:
In this modality of presentation, you are expected to prepare an electronic poster as specified in the Submission tab and be personally present online during the conference to present it, and/or provide a tagged text, sound record or video record of your presentation.

Virtual Reality (VR) Presentation:
In this new modality of presentation, you might participate in the conference, using VR technology, such as Oculus or HTC Vive. VR presentation details will be given at a later time.

Virtual Environment (VE) Presentation Details

VE/VR Poster Session with Virtual Poster Presenters.
The poster session will be available during all the conference. Specific hours will be selected for each poster, when the author will attend and present in person. At all other times, a Virtual Poster Presenter (a bot) will do presentation on behalf of the author. For this to happen, the author needs to provide, as a minimum, a poster in PDF or other graphical format (see the Submission tab) and the text of a 5-min presentation to be read by the bot.
Optionally, the author may provide:

  • A short looped video of a demo for continuous display next to your poster and references to it in the presentation text, so that the bot would point to it at the right time;

  • A videorecord of author’s face and voice presenting the poster (the facial expression and/or voice intonation can be analyzed to match the bot mimics);

  • Prepared answers to expected questions and keywords, by which questions can be identified.

A typical use case can be described as follows. Attendee enters the poster area and walks among the posters. Bots are standing nearby their posters and react to the attendee, turning their faces to him. When the attendee comes close to the poster he selected, the bot greets her and offers to give a presentation. If the attendee accepts, the bot presents the poster, using a laser pointer. The presentation can be interrupted or followed by questions, to which the bot answers. At the end, the bot gives contact information of the author, records contacts of the attendee + any questions/comments to the author, and says goodbye. If during presentation another attendee approaches the same poster, the two attendees may have a discussion with each other, and both may talk to the bot.

Bot functionality:

  • Ability to greet, present, answer questions

  • Ability to maintain eye and face contact with the attendee

  • Ability to handle multiple attendees simultaneously

  • Emotional states, emotionally adequate behavior (face, body language)

  • Internal modeling of the attendee(s)

  • Episodic memory

Environment functionality:

  • Both, VR-helmet-based and non-VR interfaces should be available

  • Attendees can select individual appearance of their avatars

  • Gaze direction and facial expression of the attendee should be detected

  • All activities should be logged

VE/VR Panel Session with Virtual Moderators.
This will happen in analogy with VideoPanels ( The only new elements are:
  • The session is situated in a VR environment;

  • Many panels may happen in parallel, and attendees (not panelists) may switch among them;

  • Each panel should have a bot-moderator.

The moderator can be analogous to a Virtual Poster Presenter (described above). Specifics are:
  • The moderator starts by introducing the panelists,

  • The moderator has an agenda and a list of questions,

  • Each question is addressed to each panelist,

  • The moderator limits each answer to a pre-set interval, e.g., 2 min,

  • At a certain time, the moderator takes questions/comments from the audience, then asks panelists to respond,

  • The moderator engages in 1-1 chats with panelists or the audience.

VE/VR Lightning Session.
This will be similar to a VR panel, except that
  • There is only one track, and a large number of speakers,

  • Each speaker has a slide and a 1 or 2 min time for its presentation,

  • Each speaker can answer up to 2-3 questions (time limits apply),

  • The moderator introduces speakers and controls the timing.

Preparation of Submissions

Submissions should be formatted according to your intended modality of submission. Please see the Submission tab for up-to-date information.

For "Unpublished Abstracts" and "Papers for the Springer Book", please follow the Springer Conference Proceedings Guidelines for Authors:

For "Papers for the Cognitive Systems Research Journal", please use the Elsevier instructions here:

None of the initial submission is required to be camera-ready. However, all final paper submissions must be in a camera-ready form prepared based on the provided templates. This is necessary for the production of the combined electronic volume of BICA 2020 proceeding.

The publication venue for each accepted paper will be determined by the Program Committee based on the paper quality, Authors’ preference and Reviewers’ recommendations. All submissions should be prepared based on the indicated templates.

Concerning papers accepted for the CSR Journal: after acceptance and registration payment, authors will be asked to reformat their references to the proper style and upload all figures as separate, high-resolution vector-graphic files, in compliance with the CSR Guide for Authors (this is not required at the time of initial submission).

BICA Society is a nonprofit international organization founded in 2010 with the purpose to promote and facilitate the transdisciplinary study of Brain-Inspired Cognitive Architectures (BICA), aiming at the emergence of a unifying, generally accepted framework for the design, characterization and implementation of human-level artificial intelligence.
Cognitive Architectures are general-purpose computational architectures inspired by scientific theories developed to explain cognition in animals and men. Cognitive Architectures have been employed in many different kinds of applications, since the control of robots to decision-making processes in intelligent agents. In many cases, a cognitive architecture is decomposed based on the cognitive capabilities they are able to provide, like perception, attention, memory, reasoning, learning, behavior generation, etc. Cognitive Architectures are, at the same time, theoretical modelings for how many different cognitive processes interact to each other in order to sense, reason and act, and also software frameworks which can be reused through different applications.
The field of research on Cognitive Architectures has now a history of more than 40 years of research. A comparative table, presenting a comprehensive review of the most important implemented CAs in the literature is available at the BICA Society web site.
The "BICA Challenge" was proposed originally in 2012 by BICA Society, as the challenge to create a general-purpose, real-life computational equivalent of the human mind using an approach based on cognitive architectures. It differentiates to other methodologies on Artificial Intelligence by its explicit inspiration on cognitive neuroscience and neuro-psychology.