Introduction: The Fourth International Workshop on Epigenetic Robotics

Berthouze, Luc and Metta, Giorgio (2004) Introduction: The Fourth International Workshop on Epigenetic Robotics. [Conference Paper]

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As in the previous editions, this workshop is trying to be a forum for multi-disciplinary research ranging from developmental psychology to neural sciences (in its widest sense) and robotics including computational studies. This is a two-fold aim of, on the one hand, understanding the brain through engineering embodied systems and, on the other hand, building artificial epigenetic systems. Epigenetic contains in its meaning the idea that we are interested in studying development through interaction with the environment. This idea entails the embodiment of the system, the situatedness in the environment, and of course a prolonged period of postnatal development when this interaction can actually take place. This is still a relatively new endeavor although the seeds of the developmental robotics community were already in the air since the nineties (Berthouze and Kuniyoshi, 1998; Metta et al., 1999; Brooks et al., 1999; Breazeal, 2000; Kozima and Zlatev, 2000). A few had the intuition – see Lungarella et al. (2003) for a comprehensive review – that, intelligence could not be possibly engineered simply by copying systems that are “ready made” but rather that the development of the system fills a major role. This integration of disciplines raises the important issue of learning on the multiple scales of developmental time, that is, how to build systems that eventually can learn in any environment rather than program them for a specific environment. On the other hand, the hope is that robotics might become a new tool for brain science similarly to what simulation and modeling have become for the study of the motor system. Our community is still pretty much evolving and “under construction” and for this reason, we tried to encourage submissions from the psychology community. Additionally, we invited four neuroscientists and no roboticists for the keynote lectures. We received a record number of submissions (more than 50), and given the overall size and duration of the workshop together with our desire to maintain a single-track format, we had to be more selective than ever in the review process (a 20% acceptance rate on full papers). This is, if not an index of quality, at least an index of the interest that gravitates around this still new discipline.

Item Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:epigenetic robotics, developmental psychology, neural sciences, robotics
Subjects:Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
Computer Science > Robotics
ID Code:4056
Deposited By: Prince, Dr Christopher G.
Deposited On:14 Apr 2005
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55


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