New book release: “The Talking Heads experiment: Origins of Words and Meanings”

We are glad to announce the release of the first book of the series Computational Models of Language Evolution.

The Talking Heads Experiment, conducted in the years 1999-2001, was the first large-scale experiment in which open populations of situated embodied agents created for the first time ever a new shared vocabulary by playing language games about real world scenes in front of them. The agents could teleport to different physical sites in the world through the Internet. Sites, in Antwerp, Brussels, Paris, Tokyo, London, Cambridge and several other locations were linked into the network. Humans could interact with the robotic agents either on site or remotely through the Internet and thus influence the evolving ontologies and languages of the artificial agents.

The present book describes in detail the motivation, the cognitive mechanisms used by the agents, the various installations of the Talking Heads, the experimental results that were obtained, and the interaction with humans. It also provides a perspective on what happened in the field after these initial groundbreaking experiments. The book is invaluable reading for anyone interested in the history of agent-based models of language evolution and the future of Artificial Intelligence.

You can find the open-source version of the book here: http://langsci-press.org/catalog/book/49

BKL-CBL conference

Katrien Beuls and Remi van Trijp organize the annual BKL-CBL conference 2015 that will take place at the VUB the 8th of June. The topic of the conference is Computational Construction Grammar and Constructional change. Confirmed speakers include Graeme Trousdale, Luc Steels, Kristin Davidse, Peter Petré and Arie Verhagen.

Apart from the main conference, a tutorial on Fluid Construction Grammar will take place on the 7th and 9th of june.

Both conference and tutorial are free of charge.

You can find the details of the BKL-CBL conference and the tutorial on Fluid Construction Grammar on this link.