Keynote Speakers - Yasuo Kuniyoshi

Yasuo Kuniyoshi
University of Tokyo

Towards Emergence of Meaning in Embodied Cognitive Systems


Up to now most of the artificial cognitive systems assume fixed meaning assignments to their actions/states directly or indirectly prescribed by programmers. Clearly this causes the brittleness of such systems like meaningless responses in unexpected situations.

We believe that embodied cognitive development can shed light on the above problem because categories/symbols emerge there, and are grounded on the entirety of possible interactions. Over the past decades, a lot of efforts contributed to understanding of embodiment and emergence. However, connecting them to the issue of "meaning" has been relatively unexplored.

In this talk, I will discuss about the relationship between emergence, embodiment and meaning, along with our ongoing work on a simulated fetus and baby in their course of early development. Future steps towards autonomous acquisition and utilization of "meanings" will also be discussed.


Yasuo Kuniyoshi is a Professor at the Department of Mechano-Informatics, School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, Japan. He received M.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Tokyo, Japan, in 1988 and 1991, respectively. From 1991 to 2000, he was a Research Scientist and then a Senior Research Scientist at Electrotechnical Laboratory, AIST, MITI, Japan. From 1996 to 1997 he was a Visiting Scholar at MIT AI Lab. In 2001 he was appointed as an Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo. Since 2005, he is a Professor at the same university. His research interests include emergence and development of embodied cognition, humanoid robot intelligence, machine understanding of human actions and intentions.

He published over 400 technical papers and received IJCAI 93 Outstanding Paper Award, Best Paper Awards from Robotics Society of Japan, Sato Memorial Award for Intelligent Robotics Research, Okawa Publications Prize, Gold Medal "Tokyo Techno-Forum21" Award, and other awards.

For further information about his research, visit .