Imitation in Artificial Agents

Speaker: Chris Marriott

Humans possess many social learning mechanisms that may be unique to our species (e.g. human speech). Imitation is a social learning mechanism that ethologists believe is at least unigue to Hominidae (the great apes) if not Homo sapiens. AI and ALife researchers have studied "imitation" in artificial agents, though being non-specialists (in cognitive ethology) there is a tendency to lump many different social learning mechanisms under the banner of "imitation". This talk will explore a social learning experiment with simple animats intended to test common wisdom about social learning while exposing the simplicity of some artificial social learning mechanisms.

Short Bio: Chris Marriott is a recent Ph.D. graduate from the University of Calgary. His Ph.D. was awarded in Computer Science and Philosophy and his topic of study was the application of cognitive ethology methodology to artificial agents.