Evostar 2015

The Leading European Event on Bio-Inspired Computation.

Copenhagen, Denmark, 8-10 April 2015

Open-Source Baby Robots for Science, Education and Art, by Pierre-Yves Oudeyer

Abstract: What can baby robots tell us about ourselves? Mysteries of human cognition, like the mechanisms of curiosity or the origins of languages, are starting to be unveiled through experiments with robots that can learn by themselves. In this talk, I will present several examples of such research projects, with models of curiosity-driven learning or language formation. I will emphasize the importance of understanding and experimenting the role of the body in cognition, and in this context introduce the Poppy open-source 3D printed humanoid robot. I will illustrate how Poppy allows rapid experimentation of varied robotic morphologies. I will also explain how this platform, born inside a scientific project, also opens stimulating opportunities in the world of education, for the integrated and interdisciplinary learning of mechanics, 3D printing, electronics, computer science, artificial intelligence and design. I wil also give examples of projects exploring how it can be used in the artistic domain.

Bio: Dr. Pierre-Yves Oudeyer is Research Director at Inria and head of the Inria and Ensta-ParisTech FLOWERS team (France). Before, he has been a permanent researcher in Sony Computer Science Laboratory for 8 years (1999-2007). After working on computational models of language evolution, he is now working on developmental and social robotics, focusing on sensorimotor development, language acquisition and life-long learning in robots. Strongly inspired by infant development, the mechanisms he studies include artificial curiosity, intrinsic motivation, the role of morphology in learning motor control, human-robot interfaces, joint attention and joint intentional understanding, and imitation learning. He has published a book, more than 80 papers in international journals and conferences, holds 8 patents, gave several invited keynote lectures in international conferences, and received several prizes for his work in developmental robotics and on the origins of language. In particular, he is laureate of the ERC Starting Grant EXPLORERS. He is editor of the IEEE CIS Newsletter on Autonomous Mental Development, and associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development, Frontiers in Neurorobotics, and of the International Journal of Social Robotics. He is also working actively for the diffusion of science towards the general public, through the writing of popular science articles and participation to radio and TV programs as well as science exhibitions. Web: http://www.pyoudeyer.com and http://flowers.inria.fr

Non-random random mutations: Evolution of Genotype-Phenoptype mapping, by Paulien Hogeweg

Abstract: Darwinian evolution, i.e. random mutations and selection, not only leads to adaptation to the environment, but more importantly, to the complex multilayered genotype-phenotype mapping, and therewith the mutational neighbourhood. In evolutionary models with enough degrees of freedom, information integration over evolutionary time will shape the mutational neighbourhood sothat (the effect of) random mutations is not random but biased to be beneficial. I will show that the structuring of the mutational neighbourbood, may serve as an alternative to more well known processes like regulation and speciation to cope with temporal and spatial heterogeneous environments.

Bio: Paulien Hogeweg is a Dutch theoretical biologist and complex systems researcher studying biological systems as dynamic information processing systems at many interconnected levels. Together with Ben Hesper he coined the term "bioinformatics" in the 70's, as the study of informatics processes in biotic systems, including both data analysis and modelling. Currently her main interest is studying "multilevel evolution": how new levels of selection emerge, and how complex genotype-phenotype transitions evolve.

Important dates:

Submission Deadline: 15 November 2014
Notification: 07 January 2015
Camera-ready: 21 January 2015
Early registration discount:01 March 2015
Registration deadline:31 March 2015
EvoStar dates: 8-10 April 2015