Automatic Language Acquisition by an Autonomous Robot

Stephen E Levinson, Weiyu Zhu, Danfeng Li, Kevin Squire, Ruei Sung Lin, Matthew Kleffner, Matthew McClain, Johnny Lee

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


There is no such thing as a disembodied mind. We posit that cognitive development can only occur through interaction with the physical world. To this end, we are developing a robotic platform for the purpose of studying cognition. We suggest that the central component of cognition is a memory which is primarily associative, one where learning occurs as the correlation of events from diverse inputs. We also posit that human-like cognition requires a well-integrated sensory-motor system, to provide these diverse inputs. As implemented in our robot, this system includes binaural hearing, stereo vision, tactile sense, and basic proprioceptive control. On top of these abilities, we are implementing and studying various models of processing, learning and decision making. Our goal is to produce a robot that will learn to carry out simple tasks in response to natural language requests. The robot's understanding of language will be learned concurrently with its other cognitive abilities. We have already developed a robust system and conducted a number of experiments on the way to this goal, some details of which appear in this paper. This is a first progress report of what we believe will be a long term project with significant implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Sep 25 2003
EventInternational Joint Conference on Neural Networks 2003 - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Jul 20 2003Jul 24 2003


OtherInternational Joint Conference on Neural Networks 2003
CountryUnited States
CityPortland, OR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence

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