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We present a multimodal interface that learns words from natural interactions with users. The system can be trained in an unsupervised mode in which users perform everyday tasks while providing natural language descriptions of their behavior. We collect acoustic signals in concert with user-centric multisensory information from non-speech modalities, such as user's perspective video, gaze positions, head directions and hand movements. A multimodal learning algorithm is developed that firstly spots words from continuous speech and then associates action verbs and object names with their grounded meanings. The central idea is to make use of non-speech contextual information to facilitate word spotting, and utilize temporal correlations of data from different modalities to build hypothesized lexical items. From those items, an EM-based method selects correct word-meaning pairs. Successful learning has been demonstrated in the experiment of the natural task of "stapling papers".
Date of Conference: 6-10 April 2003