Emergent Multi-Agent Communication in the Deep Learning Era

The ability to cooperate through language is a defining feature of humans. As the perceptual, motory and planning capabilities of deep artificial networks increase, researchers are studying whether they also can develop a shared language to interact. From a scientific perspective, understanding the conditions under which language emerges in communities of deep agents and the characteristics of the resulting code can shed light on human language evolution, and on what is unique about the latter. From a practical perspective, endowing deep networks with the ability to solve problems interactively by communicating with each other and with us will make them more flexible and useful in everyday life. We review language emergence studies from each of these two angles in turn.