Social behaviour as an emergent property of embodied curiosity: A robotics perspective

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Social interaction is an extremely complex yet vital component in daily life. We present a bottom-up approach for the emergence of social behaviours from the interaction of the curiosity drive, i.e. the intrinsic motivation to learn as much as possible, and the embedding environment of an agent. Implementing artificial curiosity algorithms in robots that explore human-like environments results in the emergence of a hierarchical structure of learning and behaviour. This structure resembles the sequential emergence of behavioural patterns in human babies, culminating in social behaviours, such as face detection, tracking and attention-grabbing facial expressions. These results suggest that an embodied curiosity drive may be the progenitor of many social behaviours if satiated by a social environment. This article is part of the theme issue 'From social brains to social robots: applying neurocognitive insights to human-robot interaction'.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20180029
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1771
StatePublished - 29 Apr 2019


  • Artificial curiosity
  • Computational models
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Robots

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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