Discussion papers

CPM-98-42 - 21 August 1998

The Contribution of Society to the Construction of Individual Intelligence

Bruce Edmonds and Kerstin Dautenhahn

A paper presented at the workshop on Socially Situated Intelligence, held at SAB’98, the Fifth International Conference of the Society for Adaptive Behavior, University of Zürich, 17 – 21 August 1998.

Published as: Bruce Edmonds and Kerstin Dautenhahn (1998). The Contribution of Society to the Construction of Individual Intelligence. In Edmonds, B. and Dautenhahn, K. (eds.), Socially Situated Intelligence: a workshop held at SAB’98, August 1998, Zürich. University of Zürich Technical Report, 42-60.


It is argued that society is a crucial factor in the construction of individual intelligence. In other words that it is important that intelligence is socially situated in an analogous way to the physical situation of robots. Evidence that this may be the case is taken from developmental linguistics, the social intelligence hypothesis, the complexity of society, the need for self-reflection and autism. The consequences for the development of artificial social agents is briefly considered. Finally some challenges for research into socially situated intelligence are highlighted.