Embodied Cognitive Semantics

Coordinated by Michael Spranger 
Computational cognitive semantics is an exciting research field that fuses ideas from robotics and cognitive semantics. The aim is to understand, model and explain how meaning is created in complex intelligent systems. The atelier will explore a state-of-the-art formalism for representing cognitive semantics called Incremental Recruitment Language (IRL). IRL allows to link continuous sensorimotor spaces to the symbolic computation required for semantic processing. The atelier provides participants with extensive knowledge how sensorimotor processing works and how IRL represents meaning. Moreover, we will deal with what it means for a system to conceptualize reality and interpret utterances. Lastly, we explore how IRL relates to models of language evolution in particular evolution of categories and of complex meaning structures.

We will use examples from the domain of spatial language and determiners in the atelier to illustrate the various aspects of computational cognitive semantics. Participants will be taken step-by-step from sensorimotor grounding to the processes of automatic conceptualization and interpretation. Experiments with real robots will be used to illustrate various aspects of processing.

Participants should attend the background lectures of Danica Kragic and Michael Spranger on the same day as the atelier to profit from the themes discussed in the atelier. We also recommend to follow the other technical ateliers, Luc Steels opening lecture, as well as Vyv Evans lecture on meaning, for a full exposure to the theoretical and scientific embedding of computational cognitive semantics, 

Recommended reading

Luc Steels. The Recruitment Theory of Language Origins. In C. Lyon, C. Nehaniv, and A. Cangelosi, editors, The Emergence of Communication and Language, pages 129–151. Springer, 2007. https://arti.vub.ac.be/~steels/recruit.pdf

Michael Spranger, Simon Pauw, Martin Loetzsch, and Luc Steels. Open-ended Procedural Semantics. In Luc Steels and Manfred Hild, editors, Language Grounding in Robots, pages 153–172. Springer, 2012. http://csl.sony.fr/downloads/papers/2012/spranger-12g.pdf