EVO-NANO Q&A – Andrew Adamatzky on unconventional computation

First of all, could you please introduce yourselves to the readers? I’m sure they would like to get to know the people behind this project.

I am a Professor of Unconventional Computing and Director of the Unconventional Computing Laboratory at the University of the West of England. As I wrote in my bio, my focus is spread across research into a huge range of disciplines: molecular computing, reaction-diffusion computing, collision-based computing, cellular automata, slime mould computing, massive parallel computation, applied mathematics, complexity, nature-inspired optimisation, collective intelligence and robotics, bionics, computational psychology, non-linear science, novel hardware, and future and emergent computation.

I have written seven books across these areas and edited twenty-two books in computational-specific areas. I am the editor-in-chief of four journals, having founded two of them (Journal of Cellular Automata and Journal of Unconventional Computing).

If a researcher wanted to visit your laboratory/facility/company, what would be one thing you’d be eager to show off? Can you provide an image or a paper that shows it?

One of my recent papers that I am quite proud of is this work on oyster fungi, where we showed that in addition to the known fact that they generate electrical potential in response to thermal stimulation, they also exhibit spontaneous spikes in potential in an oscillatory fashion.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-26007-1

What’s your current outlook on the future of your work? Do you see potential for optimizing the code all the way through this project?

The outlook is bright, from what I have seen. Our group has plenty of grants and everyone we pitch to is excited about the potential of our research. Of course, we can optimise the code throughout the work – that is one of the main points to make it useful to the end-user.