Android science conference

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Mon Jan 03 2005 - 05:29:29 MST

Another potentially interesting conference...

See also:




Toward Social Mechanisms of Android Science

A CogSci2005 Workshop

Stresa, Italy, 25-26 July 2005


Theme and goals

The embodiment of social and cognitive theories in interactive robots

sets a high bar for their evaluation. Theories that reify descriptions

relying on a human interpreter for their grounding cannot be implemented

in autonomous systems. The demands of coherently integrating responses

cross-modally and coping with open, socially complex environments limit

the applicability of theories that "grew up in the laboratory." Androids

will be confronted with circumstances that exhibit complex

closely-coordinated social dynamics, where stable patterns emerge at

various spatial and temporal scales, and expectations depend in part on

a histories of interaction that are unique to individual relationships.


We define an android to be an artificial system that has humanlike

behavior and appearance and is capable of sustaining natural

relationships with people. Although people may know that an android is

not human, they would treat it as if it were, owing to the largely

subconscious responses it would elicit. To pass the Total Turing Test,

an android would need have the inclination toward "mind reading" that is

characteristic of people. The development of androids is beyond the

scope of mere engineering because, to make the android humanlike, we

must investigate human activity, and to evaluate theories of human

activity accurately, we need to implement them in an android. Thus, we

need an android science.


The aim of this workshop is to begin to lay a foundation for research

in android science, a new field that integrates the synthetic approach

from robotics with the empirical methodologies of the social sciences.

Participants, coming from engineering and the social, cognitive, and

biological sciences seek fundamental principles underlying cognition and

communication between individuals. Cognition is not viewed as solely a

property of brains, to be understood at a micro-structural level, nor as

socially-definable and separable from biomechanical or sensorimotor

constraints. By highlighting agent-world relations, androids have the

potential for helping researchers to bridge the gap between cognitive

neuroscience and the behavioral sciences, leading to a new way of

understanding human beings. Thus, we hope to find principles that will

apply equally well to androids and Homo sapiens.


Topics of interest

- The role of affect and motivation in social development or


- Empathic relationships among people and/or robots

- Inter-species co-evolution, cooperation, and empathy

- Processes of socialization and enculturation

- Extended relationship

- Social learning and adaptation, especially from people

- The evolution, development, and nature of agency, intentionality, or

social intelligence

- Software architectures for embodied social interaction

- The grounding, emergence, or acquisition of communicative signs or


- Mimesis and its role in communication and development

- The development or implementation of hierarchies of meaning

- Models of personal, interindividual, group, or cultural norms

- Cross-modal synchronization or stabilized plasticity in speech and/or


- Learning with and from machines

- Androids working alongside people as peers

- Applications in human environments

- Ethical issues concerning androids

- Perception of naturalness, attractiveness, or charisma

- The relationship between appearance and perceived behavior

- Android personalities

- Emotional intelligence

- The Total Turing Test


Target participants

Robotics engineers and computer scientists with an interest in

artificial intelligence, machine learning, pattern recognition, and

control, especially those whose target platform includes humanoid

robots; psychologists and sociologists who are concerned with real-time

embodied communication or social development; cognitive scientists who

are concerned with the relationship between brain processes and social

dynamics; social and comparative biologists; and philosophers.


The workshop is of interest to the target participants because androids

will provide a critical test bed for social and cognitive theories in

the future, and research in this domain depends on interdisciplinary

collaboration between engineers and natural and social scientists.



Submissions must be made to the following address by email:

They must be in PDF and conform to the APA Style Manual and the

formatting guidelines of CogSci2005:



Paper title and outline: February 1, 2005

Electronic paper submission deadline: April 1, 2005

Paper author notifications sent: May 15, 2005

Camera-ready copy deadline: June 1, 2005


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