The Fifth International Workshop on Social Learning and Cultural Evolution is a satellite Workshop at the The 2021 Conference on Artificial Life. ALIFE 2021 is running virtually from Prague, Czech Republic, July 19th to July 23rd 2021.
The fields of social learning and cultural evolution aim at understanding how the exchange of knowledge within a group of individuals influences their performance. While cultural evolution focuses on how collective knowledge evolves over time within a population, social learning is concerned with the exchange of knowledge among individuals. Cultural evolution builds upon the mechanisms offered by social learning. This relationship is visible within the Alife community as social learning and cultural evolution are studied using similar methodologies, such as evolutionary robotics, evolutionary game theory, and evolutionary algorithms. This edition of the workshop will mainly, but not exclusively, focus on grand challenges of social learning and cultural evolution research in artificial life.
The overarching theme of this edition of the workshop is "What can ALife contribute to understanding processes of cultural and social evolution?" ALife can focus on the algorithmic properties of social learning and cultural evolution, abstracted from the particular substrate of the human brain that psychologists and biologists work on. ALife is not "theoretical biology done badly", but that by taking an algorithmic view it can address questions such as "what can cultural evolution provide over and above traditional genetic evolution?"