Researchers Create Robots That Make Up Their Own 'Spoken' Language : The Two-Way The robots are able to name places and share that information with other robots using simple sentences.
NPR logo Researchers Create Robots That Make Up Their Own 'Spoken' Language

Researchers Create Robots That Make Up Their Own 'Spoken' Language

During a week-long conference last week, researchers from the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology announced they had made robots they called lingodroids with the ability to create their own "spoken" language.

Explaining how they did this is complex. But the simplistic take is that researchers equipped them with cameras and lasers and let them explore. The robots were put in a room and they were able to create a lexicon for places and "used simple sentences to explain and understand relationships between places."

Here's a video of them interacting:


Here's Physorg with a bit more explanation about how they acquire language:

The Lingodroids develop language in the way that most human languages have probably developed, but making up words to name the places that they visit, and then share that name with the other around you. The bots basically find something that they have not seen in the past, create a word based on a random combination of syllables, and then tell the other robot the word that they have just created. Then the robots memory files will link to the word to that specific location.

Currently the robots are learning new words by playing games, and can only name locations, but the researchers hope that in the future these Lingodroids will be able to create a more complex language.

So all of this sounds cool and all but I can't help but ask, if they're plotting against us, how will we know?