Deep in the bowels of the U of Queensland there are little robots running around and chatting to each other. They have a nice playroom with lots of offices around their main laboratory where they spend their time telling each other where to go. These little fellows are Lingodroids and they are too hoity-toity to speak English, or Australian, or anybody else’s language, come to that. Their game is to develop their own.

They have started by giving names to parts of their playroom. With a bit of give and take, they have come to an agreement on the location names. They have been assembled in a parliamentary democracy, so arriving at a consensus needed some debate.

This is the first step in settling on their Toponymic Lexicon. The next step is for them to do the Twitter thing and tersely text their topographical territories to each other with directions and distances. Some of their peregrinations and tweets, with Dr. Schulz’s translations of course, can be found at the link below.

So now these little droids can run around and tell each other about the place and even indicate that there is somewhere that they can’t get to because somebody has locked the door. If the door is subsequently opened and a different droid is asked to check it out, they will happily run off and get the job done.

At the moment we can listen in and so can keep up with their language development. But imagine what could happen at weekends or during a vacation. They could get together and abandon droid 1 as their primary language and develop droid 2.0. Imagine how uncomfortable it would become to have your droids gossiping about you without you being able to understand what they were suggesting that you do with your program!


Leave a Reply