Australian robots invented a language for themselves

A pair of talking robots, initially did not know any language to communicate with each other, droids have developed it during the interaction. They have gradually agreed and determined that, for example, the word «jaya» means “in the center of the room”.

Amusing experiment was conducted by Ruth Schulz and her colleagues from the University of Queensland. They researched the formation of a language from scratch in the case of two robots. The project was named as “ Lingodroids”.

According to Discovery, the robots inspected a small area, using cameras, laser range finders and sonar. In the course of exploration robots invented the words to mark the parts of terrain.

At first, these words do not exist at all. Each robot put them together randomly combining syllables in the random order.

When two robots have met in one place, the first of them that already discovered this site pronounced its name aloud, and the second knew that the other wanted to say. Further, similarly vocabulary of communicating robots constantly grew and increased in the terms that meant the direction and even distance.

This language was strengthened by the games. For example, a robot said “kuzo”, and then both hurried back to where they thought is «kuzo». If two robots met at one point or close to each other, this success has strengthened the connection between the word and location.

After hundreds of games robots agreed on the direction to within 10 degrees and the distances within 0.38 meters.

Using the language they invented and their experience, each robot built its own map of the area, including sites that they could not reach. These maps were very similar to each other. Thus, if some tiny part of their world turns out the door, it also was named, and then when the door was opened, one robot could ask the other robot to go somewhere, and it correctly interpreted that it should do.

In the future, scientists are going to push the “Lingodroids” to complicate their language, so that they learn to explain to one another how to get to the specified point or they could characterize the accessibility of place.

According to the Australians, this experiment will serve as a platform for the study of cognitive processes related to knowledge representation, planning, development of language, linkage of characters to the objects and imagination. Such studies will help to improve the means of communication between the robot and people.

Results of the experiment (PDF-document), the authors introduce in a middle of May in Shanghai at a conference on the robotics.
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Sources: One, Two
Pirat 1 september 2011, 15:40
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