MISSION

Installing life’s principles in technology.

Rather than pursuing technology for the sake of optimization and efficiency, we instead explore ways of developing new technology imbued with life -- such as love, friendliness, and a sense of presence. Our mission is installing life's principles in technology.

ALTERNATIVE MACHINE Inc. in detail

Founded in June 2017 by Mizuki Oka (web science researcher), Ryuta Aoki (concept designer and social sculptor), and Takashi Ikegami (complexity science and ALife researcher).
This group of researchers is pursuing practical applications for new theories and information technology developed out of research into artificial life (ALife).
We partner with ALife researchers within and without Japan to act as the world’s only technology enterprise specializing in ALife. In addition to numerous joint research projects with countless companies, we are also focusing on development of the ALIFE Engine™, a dynamics generation engine.

Artificial Life (Alife) explained

This field is focused on research into various principles associated with life phenomena, such as autonomy, evolution, and consciousness. The history of ALife dates to 1951, when John von Neumann, responsible for the von Neumann architecture that is the progenitor of modern-day computers, created the first ALife model. The concept of ALife has been passed down through global researchers like John Horton Conway, known for the Game of Life; Stephen Wolfram, of the cellular automaton; and John Henry Holland, pioneer of genetic algorithms. Just 30 years after Neumann's death, the International Conference “ALIFE” was organized by theoretical biologist and computer scientist Christopher Langton at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1987, launching the field as a formal research domain.
In this way, ALife in itself represents the history of computers and mathematicians who have pursued what the fundamental meaning of life is.

The ALIFE Engine™

The ALIFE Engine™ is a dynamics generation engine -- in other words, a piece of software that creates movement and motion.
The Ikegami research lab at the University of Tokyo was responsible for the theoretical design used to express lifelike responses in the android “Alter”, and Alternative Machine Inc. developed the product from scratch based on this logic.
Going forward, we intend to deploy this solution in products and services (including those beyond androids and AI) that require affection, familiarity, and a sense of presence.

VISION

Releasing to society the latest technologies
that represent a redefinition of the concept of life.

Just as Darwin's theory of evolution had a profound impact on Western religions, social systems, arts and sciences, humanity has experienced a significant paradigm shift each time a major technological innovation is introduced.

Now, at the forefront of science and technology, the idea that ”life" can be a computer that processes data with an algorithm, is beginning to capture the imagination. This idea greatly contributes to the development of life sciences and is about to impact the real world through the development of the latest AI technology. From the point of view of AI, the main purpose of life is simply data processing, and the mind, consciousness, and emotions are orthogonal, just noise. The rich emotions we experience every day, and the consciousness that spans the world can also be interpreted as meaningless and without value.

We want to ask you here: Should we constrain the purpose of "life" to the analogy of computer processing data?

Can we give intelligence priority over life-specific values such as mind, consciousness and even emotion? Now that inorganic highly intelligent algorithms have begun to impact and drive society, can we really draw our future on that line?

Now is the time when humanity needs ALTERNATIVE choices, ideas, values, and technologies. Now is the time when we as artificial life researchers are confronting the question

"What is life?"

by extracting the features of life, examining them and reproducing them artificially. Every day, we are searching for “life as it could be" beyond the framework of “life as we know it.”
By confronting ambivalent questions such as mind, consciousness, adaptation, and evolution, we challenge the mystery of "life" and continue to redefine the steps forward to the next major paradigm shift.
We thus started ALTERNATIVE MACHINE to release the knowledge and wisdom of cutting-edge artificial life research to society. ALTERNATIVE MACHINE is a group of artificial life researchers who deliver technology based on the continuously updated definition of "life" to society.

ALTERNATIVE MACHINE looks to solutions beyond AI. We are convinced that the answer to what the world is seeking comes from artificial life research and ALTERNATIVE MACHINE Inc.

MEMBERS
  • Atsushi Masumori (Chief Executive Officer)

    Senior Engineer / Researcher at the University of Tokyo.

  • Takashi Ikegami (Director, Chief Scientific Officer)

    Professor at The University of Tokyo. Doctor of Science. While continuing research on the field of complex systems and artificial life, he is also active in creating arts. His artworks include “Third Term Music,” “Filmachine” (2006) “Alter” (2017) with musician Keiichiro Shibuya and “MTM” (2010) with photographer “Kenshu Niitsubo” (2010) “Long-Good-Bye” (2017). He is an author of books such as “The Evolutionary Scenarios of Complex Systems” (1997, co-authored), “Movement Makes Life-A Constructive Approach to Life and Consciousness” (2007), “The Sandwich Theory of Life” (2013), “Human and Human Between machines] (2016, co-authored), etc.

     

    Takashi Ikegami Laboratory

    Twitter

  • Itsuki Doi (Senior Resercher)

    Born 1989 in Hyogo, Japan. Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo.)

     

    He studied molecular biology and neuroscience at Tokyo University of Science as undergraduate. His main research topic is relations between individual behaviors and the collective behaviors of a social insect, and a subjective time which emerges in an artificial system. He has also been working as a sound artist. Recent his works include “Blues” (installation, 2017), “Peeling Blue” (CD, 2019). Also, he is active in sound productions and software programmings for the exhibition/installation. Major recent works include “Yuna Yagi: Nowhere”(music/sound programing), Alter”(sound/software programming, Award of Distinction of Ars Electronica).

     

    WEB SITE

  • Hiroki Kojima

    Senior Engineer / Researcher at the University of Tokyo.

  • Norihiro Maruyama

    Senior Researcher / Researcher at the University of Tokyo.

  • Yasuhiro Hashimoto

    Senior Associate Professor at University of Aizu.

  • Mizuki Oka

    Associate Professor at the University of Tsukuba. Doctor of Engineering. Web Science / ALife Researcher. Director of a community “ALIFE Lab.”, founder and co-CEO of Alternative Machine Inc. Head of the Institute of Artificial Intelligence, Web Science Research Group. Conduct research on social analysis, evolutionary mechanisms, and marketing using web and internet data. Leading author of the book “Introduction to Artificial Life Theory through Implementation” (co-authored with O’Reilly Japan / Takashi Ikegami, Dominique Chen and others).
    Web Science Laboratory

    Twitter

  • Ryuta Aoki

    Concept Designer / Social Sculptor / Founder & CEO. of VOLOCITEE Inc. / Co-founder & Co-CEO of ALTERNATIVE MACHINE Inc. / Co-founder of Mucha Kucha Inc. / Founder & Director of Art Hack Day / Co-founder & Director of TEA-ROOM, ALIFE Lab, METACITY. He produces projects, exhibitions, and artworks in the art-science field.

     

    WEB SITE

    Twitter

PARTNERS
  • Martin Hanczyc

    Martin Hanczyc is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cellular, Computational and Integrative Biology at the University of Trento, Italy and a Research Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque USA. He formally was an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, Chief Chemist at ProtoLife and Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark. He received a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Pennsylvania State University, a doctorate in Genetics from Yale University and was a postdoctorate fellow under Jack Szostak at Harvard University. He has published in the area of droplets, complex systems, evolution and the origin of life. Currently he heads the Laboratory for Artificial Biology, developing novel synthetic chemical systems based on the properties of living systems.

  • Hiroki Sayama

    Professor at State University of New York.

     

    WEB SITE

    Twitter

  • Hiroyuki Iizuka

    Associate Professor at Hokkaido Univerisity.

     

    WEB SITE

  • Jun Tani, Dr. Eng.

    Professor, Cognitive Neurorobotics Research Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST)

    Lab2-A626 (Office) A615 (Lab), https://groups.oist.jp/cnru

     

    Jun Tani received the D.Eng. degree from Sophia University, Tokyo in 1995. He started his research career with Sony Computer Science Lab. in 1993. He became a Team Leader of the Laboratory for Behavior and Dynamic Cognition, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Saitama, Japan in 2001. He became a Professor with the Electrical Engineering Department, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, South Korea in 2012. He is currently a Professor with the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Okinawa, Japan. His current research interests include cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, phenomenology, complex adaptive systems, and robotics. He is an author of “Exploring Robotic Minds: Actions, Symbols, and Consciousness as Self-Organizing Dynamic Phenomena.” published from Oxford Univ. Press in 2016.

  • Keisuke Suzuki

    Researcher at University of Sussex.

  • Takaya Arita

    Researcher at University of Sussex.

  • Olaf Witkowski

    Olaf Witkowski, Ph.D. | Director of Scientific Affairs & Chief Scientist, Cross Labs, Cross Compass Ltd. | Research Scientist, ELSI, Tokyo Institute of Technology | Lecturer, University of Tokyo | Visiting Member, Institute for Advanced Study | Board Member, International Society for Artificial Life | Founding Member, YHouse | Affiliated Researcher, ECCO, Free University of Brussels

     

    WEB SITE