Artificial Language Evolution on Autonomous Robots (ALEAR)

Project Details


This tightly integrated focused project aims at fundamental breakthroughs in understanding
and synthesising the mechanisms achieving cognition and language. It engages in carefully
controlled experiments in which autonomous humanoid robots self-organise rich conceptual
frameworks and communication systems with similar features as those found in human
languages. Language and cognition are seen as complex adaptive systems that are
continuously shaped by the actions of their users.

The project takes a whole systems' approach and tackles the complete chain from
embodiment and sensori-motor action to conceptualisation and language. Concept formation
and language invention and acquisition are embedded in situated interactions. The inventory
of concepts, the strategies for grounding them in the world, and action co-evolve with the
emergent artificial languages. Next to the required physical and cognitive capacities of each
robotic agent, we also focus on the complex systems phenomena that appear when a group of
such agents starts to interact in a distributed fashion.

The machinery required for these experiments will heavily push the state-of-the-art in all
relevant technologies, particularly robotics, concept formation, computational linguistics, and
A.I. We need rich sensors, actuators and robust, real-time performance of vision and motor
control subsystems. We need sophisticated constraint-based conceptualisation of the world
and effective parsing and production systems. Above all we need to discover how these
systems can build up their competence autonomously and remain adaptive to cope with
changing environments.

The project's orientation towards robotic experimentation is complemented by a search for an
encompassing framework in which we seek to identify the principles underlying the evolution
of human language-like cognition and to investigate in how far these principles are relevant to
understand the
Effective start/end date1/02/0831/01/11


  • European Commission: €3,399,222.00


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