University of Hertfordshire

From babbling towards first words: The emergence of speech in a robot in real-time interaction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE SSCI 2011 - Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence - IEEE ALIFE 2011: 2011 IEEE Symposium on Artificial Life
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-161284063-5
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventIEEE ALIFE 2011 - Paris, France
Duration: 11 Apr 201115 Apr 2011


ConferenceIEEE ALIFE 2011


This paper describes a system that simulates word form acquisition without meaning as a preliminary stage in language acquisition, through interaction with a human teacher. The system extracts phonemes from the teacher's speech and supplies them to a linguistically enabled synthetic agent. The agent babbles initially but gradually, words begin to emerge as the agent biases its babble towards the speech of the teacher. Experiments are conducted in real-time with a human teacher interacting with the agent embodied in the iCub humanoid robot.


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