Robots invent their own language

12 Apr 2022

Can robots invent their own language without our help? The Naming Game1 is a computer model where multiple robots (agents) invent words and share them with others, who either use the word or reject it and invent their own.

In the original naming game agents would refer to and name several objects but it simplifies the problem if you use only one object.

  1. A pair of neighboring agents are chosen at random: speaker and listener.
  2. The speaker picks a word from its list and transmits it to the listener. If the speaker’s list is empty, it randomly generates a word.
  3. If the listener has the word in its list—success: both players delete all other words from their lists.
  4. If the listener doesn’t have the word—fail: the listener adds the word to its list.


  1. Steels, Luc. A self-organizing spatial vocabulary. Artificial Life 2, 1995.