Reproducing an act with sensorimotor means and using fine natural language for communicating the intentionality behind the act is what Aristotle called “Poetics”. POETICON explores the “poetics of everyday life”, i.e. the synthesis of sensorimotor representations and natural language in everyday human interaction. This is related to an old problem in Artificial Intelligence on how meaning emerges, which is approached here in a new way.
POETICON follows an empirical approach for discovering the “languages” of sensorimotor representations and the correspondences with natural language; guided by experiments in psychology and neuroscience, it employs cutting-edge equipment and established cognitive protocols for collecting face and body movement measurements, visual object information and associated linguistic descriptions from interacting human subjects, with a two-fold objective:
- The creation of the PRAXICON, an extensible computational resource which associates symbolic representations (words/concepts) with corresponding sensorimotor representations and that is enriched with information on patterns among these representations for forming conceptual structures.
- The exploration of the association of symbolic and sensorimotor representations through cognitive and neurophysiological experiments and experimentation with a humanoid as driving forces and implementation tools for the development of the PRAXICON, respectively.
POETICON views a cognitive system as a set of different languages (the spoken, the motor, the vision language and so on) and provides a set of tools for parsing, generating and translating among them.
Through inter-disciplinary research, it contributes to the exploration of what integration in human cognition is and how it can be reproduced by intelligent agents. This is an ambitious first step for revealing and conquering the “poetics of everyday life”.