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Luc Steels
Michael Spranger
How Experience of the Body Shapes Language about Space


Open-ended language communication remains an enormous challenge for autonomous robots. This paper argues that the notion of a language strategy is the appropriate vehicle for addressing this challenge. A language strategy packages all the procedures that are necessary for playing a language game. We present a specific example of a language strategy for playing an Action Game in which one robot asks another robot to take on a body posture (such as stand or sit), and show how it effectively allows a population of agents to self-organise a perceptually grounded ontology and a lexicon from scratch, without any human intervention. Next, we show how a new language strategy can arise by exaptation from an existing one, concretely, how the body posture strategy can be exapted to a strategy for playing language games about the spatial position of objects (as in ?the bottle stands on the table?).

Published/Presented: Morgan Kaufmann
Page: 14–19