As a follow-up to a talk I gave last December in Warwick, we were visited in the lab today by a group of social and complexity scientists from Warwick including Frances Griffiths, Steve Fuller and Nick Lee. We had a hugely interesting day discussing the extent to which (or, indeed, if at all) robots could be used to model mimesis in society.
The day started with me describing the embodied imitation-of-movement experiments that we are currently doing here within the Artificial Culture project, and demonstrating the latest version of the Copybots experiment. After lunch we then had a round table discussion about whether or not such a simple model might have value in social science research and - somewhat to my surprise - there seemed to be strong consensus that there is value and that this (radical) new approach to embodied modelling is something we should actively pursue in future joint projects.
The meeting was filmed by Roger Stotesbury of Jump Off The Screen and I hope to post a link to the video record of the meeting on this blog.
Postscript: here is my blog post with Roger's film of the meeting.