Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 34, No. 217. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 2020-08-07 07:54:33+00:00 From: Willard McCarty
Subject: imitation Within the last two decades, imitation seems to have become a topic of considerable interest. I'm aware of two major collections of papers (references to more would be welcome): Susan Hurley and Nich Chater, Perspectives on Imitation: From Neuroscience to Social Science (MIT, 2005), in two volumes, from a conference in Royaumont in 2002; and Cecilia Hayes et al, "Evolution, development and intentional control of imitation", a thematic issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 364 (2009): 2293-2298. In the first of these, Merlin Donald, in "Imitation and Mimesis", uses the term 'mimesis' to include both 'imitation' and 'mimicry'. This is how he defines his terms (vol. 2, p. 286): > Mimicry is the deliberate reduplication in action of a perceived > event without careful attention to, or knowledge of, its purpose. ... > Imitation is a more ﬂexible, abstract reduplication of an event with > closer attention to its purpose. ... > Mimesis is the reduplication of an event for communicative purposes. > Mimesis requires that the audience be taken into account. It also > demands taking a third-person perspective on the actor’s own > behavior. His examples are, respectively, a young bird duplicating the song-pattern of its conspecifics; the typical behaviour of primates and very young children; older children's fantasy play. I have two questions: (1) how would you correlate -- within reasonable bounds -- the current and foreseeable range of the abilities of an artificial intelligence with Donald's spectrum from mimicry to mimesis? (2) does imitation yield the best trajectory for the AI that would do us the most good? Yours, WM -- Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org) _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: email@example.com List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
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