Technical Ateliers

The participants choose one of the four parallel ateliers, which will take place in the late morning and afternoon of each day.

1. Foundations of creativity

Pietro Gravino (Physics Dept Rome) and Bernardo Monechi (ISI Foundation Turin)

How can we define and measure the creative products of human and social activities, including language or socio-cultural activities on the web and social media? Can we observe and measure how novelties are adopted at a community scale, becoming real cultural innovations? This atelier addresses these questions by introducing some of the most interesting investigation tools: web-experiments, data science, in silico simulations and theoretical modeling. With these instruments participants will be guided in a real research path: from the definition of quantitative metrics, to data analysis and simulations, to the conception of new gaming environments to measure creativity and monitor innovation processes. The final aim is to identify the main ingredients of creativity and the dynamics underlying the evolution and the innovations in socio-technical-cultural systems.

The website for the atelier can be found here.

2. Evolutionary semantics on real robots

Michael Spranger (Sony Computer Science Laboratories Inc., Tokyo), Katrien Beuls (VUB AI Lab Brussels), and Brigitte Krenn (Austrian Institute for AI, Vienna)

This atelier investigates early language learning from a multitude of perspectives ranging from multi-modal corpus studies, over NLP analysis of child language corpora to grounded robot experiments. The atelier focuses in particular on the integration of multiple modalities such as gaze, gesture, vocalisations and speech in semantics-based models of language emergence in infants. Participants will learn 1) how to analyse multi-modal human-human, human-robot task description corpora, 2) how to extract patterns of child speech from large corpora and 3) how to build models for the emergence of gestures, vocabulary and early grammar. Models and analyses will be evaluated on robot data.

The website for the atelier can be found here.

3. Evolutionary Grammar

Remi van Trijp (Sony Computer Science Laboratory Paris) and Paul Van Eecke (Sony Computer Science Laboratory Paris)

The question of the origins and evolution of human language is one of the most fascinating mysteries in science, but also one of the hardest problems due to a lack of data and fossil records of the first languages. Nevertheless, recent methodological and technological breakthroughs have made it possible to come up with solid scientific theorizing, making Evolutionary Linguistics a young but thriving field of inquiry. This atelier introduces its participants to these methods, including a hands-on experience on how to construct multi-agent models for exploring the emergence of vocabularies from scratch and a concrete demonstration of state-of-the-art experiments on the evolution of grammar. Participants will familiarize themselves with Babel2, an open-source software framework for developing agent-based models that includes the grammar formalism Fluid Construction Grammar, and they will learn which set of skills they need to acquire or bring to the table for conducting cutting edge experiments on language evolution.

The website for the atelier can be found here.

4. Evolution of Collective Adaptive Systems on the Web

Michael Rovatsos (University of Edinburgh) and Fausto Giunchiglia (University of Trento)

The overall objective of the atelier is to build a Web-based collective intelligence system that has adaptive capabilities. Participants will be trained in the fundamental theoretical and technological building blocks of such systems. There will be a couple of hours of lectures at the start of every day, then a guided lab session (one hour) to introduce relevant SmartSociety technology and for students to play with it, and the rest of the day group work implementation of an actual case study. The theoretical introductions will focus only very briefly on general material, and then go into aspects specific to collective adaptive systems for the most part.

Prerequisites: Participants need to have a background in formal/mathematical notation, logic, probability theory, and good programming skills. Experience with web programming (REST, Javascript, etc) is strongly recommended.

The website for the atelier can be found here.