Luc STEELS / BE: How Nature inspires progress in Artificial Intelligence
Institute for Advanced Studies (ICREA) Barcelona 
In the framework of the Un/Green conference keynote programme UNGREENING GREENNESS AND NATURALLY ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCES 
RIXC /  The Latvian National Museum of Arts

AI is in the news. However the main technique used to build AI today (statistical machine  learning) captures only a very small part of how Nature manages to create organisms  with amazing adaptive behaviors and how human intelligence with its unique capacities for  language, reasoning, and learning, arises and operates. This talk suggests that we have a lot to learn from living Nature. It discusses principles like self-organisation, selection,  level formation and emergent functionality and reports experiments how we could use  these principles, particularly for explaining the origins and evolution of human-like language.

Luc Steels is a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies (ICREA) in Barcelona, embedded in the Institute for Evolutionary Biology (IBE – UPF/CSIC). In the nineteen seventies he studied linguistics at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) and computer science with specialisation in Artificial Intelligence at M.I.T. (US) under the guidance of Marvin Minsky. After working for several years for the company Schlumberger in the U.S. and France on expert systems for geophysical measurement interpretation, he came back to Europe and founded in 1983 the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Free University of Brussels (VUB). With his group he achieved early breakthroughs in symbolic programming, knowledge-based systems, evolutionary computation, neural information processing, and behaviour-based robotics. In 1996 Steels became the founding director of the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris which made major contributions to language emergence, citizen science, and computer music. In 2011 he joined the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) to work on the use of principles from evolutionary biology to advance the understanding and emulation of intelligence in artificial systems. Steels published a dozen books on various AI subjects as well as 350 research papers published in prestigious conferences and top level scientific journals. He is elected member of the Flemish Royal Academy of Science in Belgium and the European Academy of Science.