14 July 2005

Simulated society may generate virtual culture


Virtual computer characters more accustomed to battling deranged alien monsters are about to take part in a unique social experiment.

A society of virtual "agents” - each with a remarkably realistic personality and the ability to learn and communicate - is being crafted by scientists from five European research institutes who hope to gain insights into the way human societies evolve.

The project, known as New and Emergent World models Through Individual, Evolutionary and Social Learning – or NEW-TIES – brings together experts in artificial intelligence, linguistics, computer science and sociology. It is backed by a consortium consisting of the University of Surrey and Napier University in the UK, Tilberg and Vrije Universities in the Netherlands and Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary.

continued via New Scientist

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