May 8, 2019
Dr. Michael Spranger's recent research tries to identify computational mechanisms and representations that allow embodied agents (robots) to autonomously develop meaning and communication systems. The autonomously developed communication systems share important properties of human language such as compositionality, open-endedness and the need for inference.
Through experiments with robots in the real world and in simulation, we explore the role of embodiment in communication. We are particularly interested in mechanisms that allow agents to not only develop communication systems but allow robots to choose and develop the conceptualization strategies for developing communication systems – a key feature of natural language evolution. The talk discussed both recent research trends, as well as attempts at artistic exploration of the subject of autonomous meaning creation.
After the talk, a discussion with the whole audience took place, highlighting different points of view on language evolution and emergence of language in computational and robotic models. Some models were suggested to evolve languages of diverse levels of complexity, corresponding to defined levels of logic and computational ability on tasks, beyond Chomsky hierarchies and automata theories.