Humanoid robot learns language like a baby
by Laura Domela
June 15, 2012 at 12:44 PM
With the help of human instructors, a robot has learned to talk like a human infant, learning the names of simple shapes and colors.
“Our work focuses on early stages analogous to some characteristics of a human child of about 6 to 14 months, the transition from babbling to first word forms,” wrote computer scientists led by Caroline Lyon of the University of Hertfordshire in a June 13 Public Library of Science One study.
Named DeeChee, the robot is an iCub, a three-foot-tall open source humanoid machine designed to resemble a baby. The similarity isn’t merely aesthetic, but has functional purpose: Many researchers think certain cognitive processes are shaped by the bodies in which they occur. A brain in a vat would think and learn very differently than a brain in a body.
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