This programmatic paper continues a series of works that we are dedicating to introduce a novel research program in AI, which we call Autopoietic SB-AI to indicate two basic elements of its procedural architecture. (1) The first element is the innovative methodological option of synthetically studying the cognitive domain based on the construction and experimental exploration of wetware –i.e., chemical – models of cognitive processes, using techniques defined in the field of Synthetic Biology (SB). (2) The second element is the theoretical option of developing SB models of cognitive processes based on the theory of autopoiesis. In our previous works we focused on the epistemological and theoretical groundings of Autopoietic SB-AI. In this contribution, after a general presentation of this research program, we introduce the SB technical framework that we are developing to orient Autopoietic SB-AI towards a twofold goal: building organizationally relevant wetware models of minimal biological-like systems (i.e., synthetic cells), and, on this basis, contributing to the scientific exploration of minimal cognition.

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