Can Robots Develop Their Own Language?

In the land down under known as Australia, scientists at the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology in general and Ruth Schulz specifically, have invented a type of robot that has the capacity to develop its own language!

Known as the Lingodroid research project, so far the robots can generate random sounds for the places they visit in both simulations and a real office. They have the capacity to map out an area inside a room, meet with each other and exchange information about that specific interior section. “Words” are shared and even invented, such as  “jaya”, which means the center of the room. Other generated robot place names include: “kuzo,” “jaro” and “fexo”.

Robot language is programmed by keystrokes and the robots are still far away from comprehending or communicating in English or any other language. This is however, a solid step in the right direction and it does mean that the language they are developing among themselves improves their intellectual abilities.

Scientists are allowing the robots to generate their own words because human language has too many variables that deter true comprehension.

According to Ruth Schulz:

“Robot-robot languages take the human out of the loop. This is important because the robots demonstrate that they understand the meaning of the words they invent independent of humans… They enable the robots to refer to places they haven’t been or even places that they imagine beyond the edges of their explored world.”

Perhaps one day in the future, robots will develop their own language school, something along the lines of Berlitz, where robots meeting internationally can converse and “chew the fat?”

In the meantime, this is an amazing concept indicating that the cold hand of technology is ever altering human definitions and comprehension.



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