Imitation in Animals and Artifacts

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The effort to explain the imitative abilities of humans and other animals draws on fields as diverse as animal behavior, artificial intelligence, computer science, comparative psychology, neuroscience, primatology, and linguistics. This volume represents a first step toward integrating research from those studying imitation in humans and other animals, and those studying imitation through the construction of computer software and robots.

Imitation is of particular importance in enabling robotic or software agents to share skills without the intervention of a programmer and in the more general context of interaction and collaboration between software agents and humans. Imitation provides a way for the agent -- whether biological or artificial -- to establish a "social relationship"
and learn about the demonstrator's actions, in order to include them in its own behavioral repertoire. Building robots and software agents that can imitate other artificial or human agents in an appropriate way involves complex problems of perception, experience, context, and action, solved in nature in various ways by animals that imitate.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262042031
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 5/21/2002
  • Series: Complex Adaptive Systems
  • Pages: 625
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Kerstin Dautenhahn is co-organizer of the Adaptive Systems Research Group at the
University of Hertfordshsire, England.

Chrystopher L. Nehaniv is co-organizer of the Adaptive Systems Research Group at the University of Hertfordshsire, England.

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Table of Contents

1 The Agent-Based Perspective on Imitation 1
2 The Correspondence Problem 41
3 Vocal, Social, and Self-Imitation by Bottlenosed Dolphins 63
4 Allospecific Referential Speech Acquisition in Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus): Evidence for Multiple Levels of Avian Vocal Imitation 109
5 On Avian Imitation: Cognitive and Ethological Perspectives 133
6 Art Imitates Life: Programming by Example as an Imitation Game 157
7 Learning to Fly 171
8 Imitation of Sequential and Hierarchical Structure in Action: Experimental Studies with Children and Chimpanzees 191
9 Three Sources of Informatics in Social Learning 211
10 The Mirror System, Imitation, and the Evolution of Language 229
11 Imitation: A Means to Enhance Learning of a Synthetic Protolanguage in Autonomous Robots 281
12 Rethinking the Language Bottleneck: Why Don't Animals Learn to Communicate? 311
13 Imitation as a Dual-Route Process Featuring Predictive and Learning Components: A Biologically Plausible Computational Model 327
14 Challenges in Building Robots That Imitate People 363
15 Sensory-Motor Primitives as a Basis for Imitation: Linking Perception to Action and Biology to Robotics 391
16 Imitation or Something Simpler? Modeling Simple Mechanisms for Social Information Processing 423
17 Imitation as a Perceptual Process 441
18 "Do Monkeys Ape?" - Ten Years After 471
19 Transformational and Associative Theories of Imitation 501
20 Dimensions of Imitative Perception-Action Mediation 525
21 Goal Representations in Imitative Actions 555
22 Information Replication in Culture: Three Modes for the Transmission of Culture Elements through Observed Action 573
Appendix 587
Contributors 589
Index 591
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