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AISB event Bulletin Item

CALL FOR PAPERS: Symposium on Embodiment vs. Simulated Behaviour and Cognition, AISB-50, 1-4 April, London, UK

Symposium at AISB-50 on Embodiment vs. Simulated Behaviour and Cognition

"Embodied vs. Simulated Behaviour and Cognition: What can Robotics contribute to the Language Sciences?"

One-day Symposium at AISB-50, Goldsmiths, London, 4 April 2014. 
The convention is organised by the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation 
of Behaviour (AISB)

Artificial Intelligence, in its early years, adopted an almost purely “dis-embodied” view of 
behaviour and cognition. The brain was modeled as a black-box information processing device, fed 
with symbolic representations of “percepts” derived from the world, and producing symbolic 
“actions” which somehow affect physical systems. However, the shortcomings of this approach 
have become all too apparent in the last decades. These were manifest not only through difficulties
in creating real-world physically-embedded intelligent systems such as robots, but also through 
experimental results that show the centrality of embodiment to human and animal cognition. Further,
it has become clear that embodiment is inseparable from both language use and, more generally, 
social coordination. In investigation of intelligence, therefore, increasing importance is given 
to more holistic approaches that transcend the dichotomies, of body vs. mind, motor act vs. speech 
act and, most crucially, self vs.other.

Simulation also has  played a crucial role in research on Artificial Intelligence. In order to 
test theories and study the behavior of systems, one can strive to link physical implementation 
with real-world experimentation. Often, however, this route is impractical or impossible. This is 
the case, for example, in studying phenomena such as language evolution that occur across large 
spatiotemporal ranges. It also applies when the creation and deployment of physical instantiations 
is costly or difficult as in examining massive amounts of human-robot interaction data. Finally, 
the same applies in using assumptions that contradict actual physical or social conditions. In 
these cases, and many more, computational simulation offers an attractive alternative. This, 
however, brings its own shortcomings: how does one show that the results of simulations have real 
world validity? Are there methodologically constrained upper bounds for the strength of 
simulation-based claims? Also, practically, how does one devise effective and realizable 
simulations for classes of problems related to behaviour and cognition? These and many other 
interesting questions have arisen, together with the numerous successful past applications of 
simulation, also not necessarily in mutual exclusion but also in conjunction with embodied 

This symposium will focus on the embodiment vs. simulation debate, exploring the strengths, 
limitations, and contributions of these approaches in exploring behaviour, language and cognition. 
The aim is to shed more light on how to generate synergies between embodied and simulation-based 
approaches. Our aim is to use the outcomes to develop optimal ways of exploring complex phenomena 
such as human behaviour and cognition. Highlighting the complexity of coordinated behaviour the 
symposium will give special weight to language and, specifically, how it is integrated with action 
and perception.  Could viewing language as a coordination device benefit from the use of 
embodied platforms? What is/has been the role of simulation in language studies? Could whole-body 
human coordination in which wordings play a part, become the central “object” of enquiry in 
the language sciences?

Topics of interest to this symposium include (but are not limited to):

-Contributions of embodiment approaches to language, cognition and behaviour
-Contributions of simulation approaches to language, cognition and behaviour
-Embodiment vs. simulation: limitations and strenghts
-Embodiment and simulation in Robotics
-Embodiment and simulation in Language Sciences
Submissions must be short papers (1500-2000 words) and should be sent via email to: 
embo_sim_AT_csri_DOT_gr. Style files are available at the symposium website.

Each submission will receive at least two reviews. Selected submissions will be published in the 
general proceedings of the AISB Convention, with the proviso that at least ONE author attends the 
symposium in order to present the paper and participate in general symposium activities.

i. Full paper submission deadline: 27 January 2014
ii. Notification of acceptance/rejection decisions: 13 February 2014
iii. Final versions of accepted papers (Camera ready copy): 24 February 2014
iv. Convention: Friday, 4 April 2014

Please note that there will be separate proceedings for each symposium, produced before the 
convention. Each delegate will receive a memory stick containing the proceedings of all the 
symposia. Authors of a selection of the best papers will be invited to submit an extended version 
of the work to a journal special issue.


Katerina Pastra (Chair)
Director -  Cognitive Systems Research Institute (CSRI) &
Senior Researcher – ATHENA Research Center, Inst. for Language & Speech Processing (ILSP)

Stephen Cowley
Professor – Department of Language and Communication
University of Southern Denmark

Nikolaos Mavridis
Associate Professor – New York University, Abu Dhabi &
Researcher – NCSR Demokritos, Greece