Sharing stories, particularly about death, is an important part of many cultures. In light of these known cases of inter-generational knowledge transmission in biological systems, we explore such learning through sharing information (“stories”) about death. A simulated environment with novelty-seeking Q-learning agents allows us to explore the effects of different types of information sharing on the lifespans of individual agents and the ability of inter-generational chains to maximize novelty via exploration. We find that sharing information about death provides a significantly better learning signal than sharing information about random states in the environment. Moreover, sharing shorter stories appears better than sharing longer ones. Sharing stories promotes survival and exploration in subsequent generations. This provides a foundation upon which further exploration of story sharing dynamics between agents can be explored.

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