Workshop (EVOSLACE)

EVOSLACE: Workshop on the emergence and evolution of social learning, communication, language and culture in natural and artificial agents

July 25th, full day


Language and communication emerges in humans through interaction with other agents in a physical, social and cultural environment. These interactions require a high level of sensory-motor intelligence (visual perception, body movement, navigation, object manipulation, auditory perception and articulatory control) but at the same time further enhance the capabilities and skills of the individual. All this appears to happen almost effortlessly in humans. How does this work? How does cooperation, communication and language emerge in natural and artificial systems. In particular, what are the biological, cognitive, social mechanisms and strategies that allow communication systems of human complexity to emerge and evolve. This workshop aims at answering these questions through an interdisciplinary approach.

In addition, the fields of social learning and cultural evolution aim at understanding how the exchange of knowledge within a group of individuals influences their performance. While cultural evolution focuses on how collective knowledge evolves over time within a population, social learning is concerned with the exchange of knowledge among individuals. Cultural evolution builds upon the mechanisms offered by social learning. This relationship is visible within the Alife community as social learning and cultural evolution are studied using similar methodologies, such as evolutionary robotics, evolutionary game theory, and evolutionary algorithms.

Furthermore, roles of constructive approaches are becoming more important in providing a framework to unify increasing knowledge about language and cultural evolution both in empirical studies such as communication in non-human animals, human evolution and language acquisition, and linguistic theories. We believe this can contribute to designing new co-creative ways of communication in modern societies such as SNS, IoT, and robots.

This workshop will mainly, but not exclusively, focus on grand challenges of social learning, cultural evolution, and language evolution research in Alife and Evolutionary Robotics, and other related interdisciplinary fields.