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Journal Articles Topics in cognitive science Year : 2016

How Evolution May Work Through Curiosity-Driven Developmental Process

Abstract

Infants’ own activities create and actively select their learning experiences. Here we review recent models of embodied information seeking and curiosity-driven learning and show that these mechanisms have deep implications for development and evolution. We discuss how these mecha- nisms yield self-organized epigenesis with emergent ordered behavioral and cognitive develop- mental stages. We describe a robotic experiment that explored the hypothesis that progress in learning, in and for itself, generates intrinsic rewards: The robot learners probabilistically selected experiences according to their potential for reducing uncertainty. In these experiments, curiosity- driven learning led the robot learner to successively discover object affordances and vocal interac- tion with its peers. We explain how a learning curriculum adapted to the current constraints of the learning system automatically formed, constraining learning and shaping the developmental trajec- tory. The observed trajectories in the robot experiment share many properties with those in infant development, including a mixture of regularities and diversities in the developmental patterns. Finally, we argue that such emergent developmental structures can guide and constrain evolution, in particular with regard to the origins of language.
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Dates and versions

hal-01404334 , version 1 (28-11-2016)

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Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, Linda Smith. How Evolution May Work Through Curiosity-Driven Developmental Process. Topics in cognitive science, 2016, 8, ⟨10.1111/tops.12196⟩. ⟨hal-01404334⟩
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