The emergence of a "language" in an evolving population of neural networks

Cangelosi, A and Parisi, D (1998) The emergence of a "language" in an evolving population of neural networks. [Preprint] (Unpublished)

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The evolution of language implies the parallel evolution of an ability to respond appropriately to signals (language understanding) and an ability to produce the appropriate signals in the appropriate circumstances (language production). When linguistic signals are produced to inform other individuals, individuals that respond appropriately to these signals may increase their reproductive chances but it is less clear what is the reproductive advantage for the languages producers. We present simulations in which populations of neural networks living in an environment evolve a simple language with an informative function. Signals are produced to help other individuals to categorize edible and poisonous mushrooms in order to decide whether to approach or avoid encountered mushrooms. Language production, while not under direct evolutionary pressure, evolves as a by-product of the independently evolving perceptual ability to categorize mushrooms.

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:language evolution, genetic algorithm, artificial life, symbol grounding, neural networks, adaptive behaviour, internal representations, categorisation, communication
Subjects:Computer Science > Neural Nets
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
ID Code:621
Deposited By: Cangelosi, Professor Angelo
Deposited On:27 Mar 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54


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