A model of symbiomemesis: Machine education and communication as pillars for human-autonomy symbiosis

Hussein Abbass, Eleni Petraki, Aya Hussein, Finlay McCall, Sondoss Elsawah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Symbiosis is a physiological phenomenon where organisms of different species develop social interdependencies through partnerships. Artificial agents need mechanisms to build their capacity to develop symbiotic relationships. In this paper, we discuss two pillars for these mechanisms: machine education (ME) and bi-directional communication. ME is a new revolution in artificial intelligence (AI) which aims at structuring the learning journey of AI-enabled autonomous systems. In addition to the design of a systematic curriculum, ME embeds the body of knowledge necessary for the social integration of AI, such as ethics, moral values and trust, into the evolutionary design and learning of the AI. ME promises to equip AI with skills to be ready to develop logic-based symbiosis with humans and in a manner that leads to a trustworthy and effective steady-state through the mental interaction between humans and autonomy; a state we name symbiomemesis to differentiate it from ecological symbiosis. The second pillar, bi-directional communication as a discourse enables information to flow between the AI systems and humans. We combine machine education and communication theory as the two prerequisites for symbiosis of AI agents and present a formal computational model of symbiomemesis to enable symbiotic human-autonomy teaming. This article is part of the theme issue 'Towards symbiotic autonomous systems'.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20200364
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2207
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2021


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