Robots playing language games: an experiment in art and science
with Luc Steels
March 27, 5 pm
Venice International University, Isola di San Servolo
This workshop has two interwoven themes. The first theme is collaboration and interaction between art and science. How does it work? What can both parties contribute and receive? Can media art and interactive installations play an important role? To answer these questions Luc Steels will use a case study from an artistic work 'Look into the Box' he developed with artist Olafur Eliasson for an exhibition at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris.
The second theme is language, more specifically the origins of language. How can we understand the processes that underlie the emergence of new words, grammatical structures, and the meanings they express? Using the same case study Luc Steels will show that we can now create experiments with artificial agents (robots) that are able to self-organise language for talking about the color of the eyes of exhibition viewers. This requires understanding the cognitive mechanisms that underlie color vision, perception, categorisation, and description, and the ability of complex systems to exhibit emergent phenomena.
The workshop is part of the itinerant pop up artwork and project by media archeologist Rachel Hanlon called HELLO MACHINE, CONNECTED, which focuses on the interactions and communication between humans to humans and humans to machines and touches on the playful moments that are shared between man and machine.
Two old fashioned landline telephones (Hello Machines) will be located at multiple sites: Ca' Foscari CFZ - Cultural Flow Zone, the Ca' Foscari scientific campus, the new M9 museum, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, La Biennale di Venezia and Venice International University.
Other telephones by Rachel Hanlon are also located in Australia, USA, Japan, Ireland and Austria.
Hello Machines are therefore situated across the globe in ever-changing locations and time zones: picking up the receiver rings the other Hello Machines, creating space for spontaneous voice visiting. They provide a way in which the viewer can interact with re-animated technically obsolete telephone systems, utilising present day advancements in telephony. Their aim is to open up a dialogue between the technologies original ideas and meanings, and what makes up the 'thingness' these devices now possess, by unraveling its historical and societal content that contains traces of our identity.
CONNECTED is promoted by Science Gallery Venice and supported by DVRI - District of Venetian Research and Innovation, of which VIU is a member.
This workshop is part of the VIULectures, a cycle of public events on topics of interest to the VIU Community.
To participate please register at the Front Office.