Robots that learn to speak

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This project investigates how the iTalk has acquired the language, making the robot learn to form words, without knowing its meaning. The experiments were performed with a small humanoid robot “iCube” who, after spending time with people, babbling step to form words.
DeeCee robotThis is called DeeChee and this robot can learn to speak. This is not a child but a small humanoid robot which scientists are investigating how the language acquired to advance the development of robotic systems that can interacting with humans.

The project is funded by the European Commission, aims to teach the robot using the same learning techniques used with children. That is why iCube is a child aged 6 to 14 months. ‘iTalk’ keeps busy with several groups of researchers (during the first three years has published a hundred scientific publications). One of these teams, composed of scientists from the University of Hertfordshire (UK), has just demonstrated that robots can learn words through interaction with humans, even though they know what they mean. Details of their study are published this week in PLoS ONE.

In early experiments, conducted in English, a small man could only babble and speech perceived as a succession of sounds. For several minutes after interacting with humans who try to teach these words like child, DeeChee robot adapted the sounds emitted to syllables that humans more often repeated. In the end, as shown in the video, was able to pronounce some of the words he taught and referred to the shape of objects and colors.

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