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Investigating models of social development using a humanoid robot

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1 Author(s)
B. Scassellati ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Yale Univ., New Haven, CT, USA

Human social dynamics rely upon the ability to correctly attribute beliefs, goals, and percepts to other people. The set of abilities that allow an individual to infer these hidden mental states based on observed actions and behavior has been called a "theory of mind". Drawing from the models of Baron-Cohen (1995) and Leslie (1994), a novel architecture called embodied theory of mind was developed to link high-level cognitive skills to the low-level perceptual abilities of a humanoid robot. The implemented system determines visual saliency based on inherent object attributes, high-level task constraints, and the attentional states of others. Objects of interest are tracked in real-time to produce motion trajectories which are analyzed by a set of naive physical laws designed to discriminate animate from inanimate movement. Animate objects can be the source of attentional states (detected by finding faces and head orientation) as well as intentional states (determined by motion trajectories between objects). Individual components are evaluated by comparisons to human performance on similar tasks, and the complete system is evaluated in the context of a basic social learning mechanism that allows the robot to mimic observed movements.

Published in:

Neural Networks, 2003. Proceedings of the International Joint Conference on  (Volume:4 )

Date of Conference:

20-24 July 2003