Epigenetic Robotics: SECOND CALL FOR PAPERS

Jordan Zlatev Jordan.Zlatev at LING.LU.SE
Thu Apr 19 15:10:28 UTC 2001

Dear FUNKNET readers,
The deadline for our workshop this fall has been extended. (We got a
number of good submissions, but we need more.) This will be an
exciting interdisciplinary meeting contributing to the understanding
of language as both socioculturally "situated", and as
(neuro)biologically "embodied", especially in relation to its
emergence in ontogenesis.

Best regards,
Jordan Zlatev

Second Call for Papers

First International Workshop on
Epigenetic Robotics: Modeling Cognitive Development in Robotic Systems

September 17-18, 2001
Lund, Sweden

Extended Deadline for Submission of Papers: May 15, 2001

During the last few years we have witnessed the mutual rapprochement
of two traditionally very different fields of study: developmental
psychology and robotics. This has come with the realization in large
parts of the cognitive science community that true intelligence in
natural and (possibly) artificial systems presupposes 3 crucial

(a) the embodiment of the system,
(b) its situatedness  in a physical and social environment and
(c) a prolonged epigenetic developmental process through which
increasingly more complex cognitive structures emerge in the system
as a result of interactions with the physical and social environment.

To designate this new field we use the term epigenesis, introduced in
psychology by the great 20th century developmentalist Jean Piaget to
refer to such development, determined primarily by interaction rather
than genes. However, we believe that Piaget's emphasis on the
importance of sensorimotor interaction needs to be complemented with
what is just as (and perhaps more) important for development: social
interaction, as emphasized by other important figure of 20th century
developmental psychology, Lev Vygotsky.
In the emergent field of Epigenetic Robotics the interests of
psychologists and roboticists meet. The former are in a position to
provide the detailed empirical findings and theoretical
generalizations that can guide the implementations of robotic systems
capable of cognitive (including behavioral and social) development.
Conversely, these implementations can help clarify, evaluate, and
even develop psychological theories, which due to the complexity of
the interactional processes involved have hitherto remained somewhat
We are thus pleased to invite the submission of papers to the First
International Workshop on Epigenetic Robotics: Modeling Cognitive
Development in Robotic Systems, which we hope to allow researchers
working in this new interdisciplinary field to share and discuss
theoretical frameworks, methodologies, results and problems.

Subject areas include, but are not limited to:
* The role of motivation, emotions and value systems in development
* The development of sensorimotor schemata and an "ecological self"
* The development of joint attention
* The development of imitation and social learning
* The development of mind-reading/theory of mind
* The development of non-verbal and verbal communication
* The development of shared meaning and symbolic reference
* The development of consciousness and self-awareness
* The development of a concept of "person" and social relationships
* The interaction between innate structures and experience in development

The workshop, sponsored by the Communications Research Laboratory,
Japan, will be held in the charming town of Lund in southern Sweden,
home of one of the oldest universities of Northern Europe, on
September 17-18, just preceding the Fourth European Workshop on
Advanced Mobile Robots (EUROBOT'01).

Invited Speakers
* Christopher Sinha (Institute of Language and Communication,
University of Southern Denmark, Odense)
* Luc Steels (VUB Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Brussels)
* Irene Pepperberg (MIT Media Lab)

Papers not exceeding 8 pages should be submitted electronically (PDF
or PS) as attachment files to xkozima at crl.go.jp Further instructions
to authors will be posted on the conference home page:

Important Dates
* May 15, 2001: Extended Deadline for Submission of Papers
* June 15, 2001: Notification of acceptance
* August 1, 2001: Deadline for camera-ready papers
* September 17-18, 2001: Workshop

Organizing Committee
* Christian Balkenius, Cognitive Science, Lund University, Sweden
* Cynthia Breazeal, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT, USA
* Kerstin Dautenhahn, Adaptive Systems, The University of Hertfordshire, UK
* Hideki Kozima, Commuications Research Laboratory, Japan
* Jordan Zlatev, Linguistics, Lund University, Sweden

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