[Hybrid seminar] "Evolving bi-directional referential communication in minimal autonomous agents" by Prof. Seth Bullock, University of Bristol


Wednesday, July 19, 2023 - 16:00 to 17:10


L4F01, Lab 4



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Prof. Seth Bullock
Toshiba Chair in Data Science and Simulation
Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol

Talk title:  Evolving bi-directional referential communication in minimal autonomous agents

Abstract:  Referential communication is central to social and collective behaviour, e.g., honey bees communicating nectar locations to each other or co-workers gossiping about a colleague. Typically, such behaviour is considered to be “representation hungry”, requiring complex cognitive machinery capable of manipulating symbolic representations of the world. However, a series of simulation studies have shown that it can be achieved by very simple embodied artificial agents controlled by small evolved continuous time recurrent neural networks (CTRNNs) that are challenging to interpret in symbol processing terms.


Bio:  Seth Bullock is the Toshiba Chair in Data Science and Simulation in the Computer Science department at the University of Bristol, UK. His research interests span artificial intelligence, artificial life, evolutionary biology and cognitive science, with a particular focus on understanding collective behaviour in natural and artificial systems. Recent projects include work on design principles for hybrid systems that combine people and artificial autonomous agents. He has twice been elected to the board of the International Society for Artificial Life, has undertaken consultancy for the UK government on complexity in ICT and financial systems, and was recently made a fellow of the European Centre for Living Technology.


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