Seminar: “Beyond Information Transfer”

Note: This seminar already happened!

Beyond Information Transfer: The Emergence of Embodied Communication

Tom Froese
20 July 2006
Fellow Seminar
Collegium: Institute for Advanced Study, Budapest, Hungary

The “Cognition Is Computation” and “Communication Is Information Transfer” metaphors are among the most deeply entrenched constitutive assumptions of classical cognitive science research. However, there is a growing consensus that it is crucial for our understanding of cognition and communication that we study both as a biologically embodied-embedded phenomena. I will outline some considerations why the functional definition of communication as an exchange of information with selective advantage is inadequate in this respect.

I propose that what is needed instead is a shift of focus to the underlying dynamical mechanisms and morphological structures which causally enable communication to emerge as a coordination of action between embodied, situated, and autonomous systems. In the talk I will outline some of the progress that has been made in artificially evolving such behavioral coordination in multi-agent systems, and then briefly describe why these developments are particularly relevant for the future of embodied cognitive science as a whole.

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