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Research Bernoulli Institute Calendar

Colloquium Artificial Intelligence - Tom Lenaerts, Université Libre de Bruxelles

When:Th 08-12-2022 13:00 - 15:00
Where:5159.0114 Energy Academy

Title: Evolution of a theory of mind


The existence and characterization of a Theory of Mind (ToM) in upper primates has been under investigation for decades now. Yet, how a ToM may evolve, however, remains an open problem. We developed an Evolutionary Game Theoretical model in which a finite population of individuals use strategies that incorporate (or not) a ToM, modelled using level-k recursive reasoning, to infer a best response to the anticipated behaviour of others within the context of the centipede game. We find that strategies incorporating a ToM evolve and prevail under natural selection, provided individuals make cognitive errors, and a temptation for higher future gains is in place. We found furthermore that such non-deterministic reasoning co-evolves with an optimism bias, favouring the selection of a new equilibrium configuration in the centipede game, which was not anticipated to date. Our work reveals not only a unique perspective on the evolution of bounded rationality but also a co-evolutionary link between the evolution of ToM and the emergence of self-deception.