Jose Halloy :"Do animals dream of electronic animals?"

Wednesday, 7 September, 2016 - 10:00 to 11:30

In artificial intelligence, Alan Turing proposed a test based on establishing a written conversation among humans and machines. Nowadays, this kind of software is called a chatbot. If the human is not able to differentiate between a human interlocutor or a machine, Turing considered that the machine had then make a decisive step in artificial intelligence. Although this test is controversial as to the nature of the artificial intelligence in question, the Turing test could be generalized to animals. Indeed, after all, this test is a social choice: machines are tested as being valid social companions.
But, what does it mean “to chat” with animals that do not rely on symbolic communication?
In the class of cockroaches, chicken or zebrafish what characteristics must have robots to be socially acceptable and elected as social companions?
Deepening the association of ethology and robotics allows to study the social behaviours of animals using new tools and to design new social robots. The first challenge will be to socially connect robots and animals by designing machines that are socially acceptable for them. This involves understanding the fundamental characteristics that make an individual accepted as a social partner and the repertoire of actions that must be deployed within the group to ensure its cohesion.
This combination of robots and social animals forms a new kind of social cyborg. It also opens more speculative perspectives on the types of collective intelligence that these bio-hybrid groups are capable of producing.  What could be an intelligences that combines the capabilities of living and robotic systems to produce something more than their mere juxtaposition. Are those social cyborgs good tools to question sociality and collective intelligence?