Autonomous Acquisition of Natural Language

Nivel, Erik and Thórisson, Kristinn R. and Steunebrink, Bas R. and Dindo, Haris and Pezzulo, Giovanni and Rodríguez Hernández, Manuel and Hernández Corbato, Carlos and Ognibene, Dimitri and Schmidhuber, Jürgen and Sanz Bravo, Ricardo and Helgason, Helgi P. and Chella, Antonio and Jonsson, Gudberg K. (2014). Autonomous Acquisition of Natural Language. In: "IADIS International Conference on Intelligent Systems & Agents 2014", 15 - 17 July 2014, Lisboa, Portugal. ISBN 978-989-8704-10-8. pp. 1-10.


Title: Autonomous Acquisition of Natural Language
  • Nivel, Erik
  • Thórisson, Kristinn R.
  • Steunebrink, Bas R.
  • Dindo, Haris
  • Pezzulo, Giovanni
  • Rodríguez Hernández, Manuel
  • Hernández Corbato, Carlos
  • Ognibene, Dimitri
  • Schmidhuber, Jürgen
  • Sanz Bravo, Ricardo
  • Helgason, Helgi P.
  • Chella, Antonio
  • Jonsson, Gudberg K.
Item Type: Presentation at Congress or Conference (Article)
Event Title: IADIS International Conference on Intelligent Systems & Agents 2014
Event Dates: 15 - 17 July 2014
Event Location: Lisboa, Portugal
Title of Book: Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent Systems and Agents
Date: 2014
ISBN: 978-989-8704-10-8
Freetext Keywords: Autonomy, knowledge acquisition, natural language, communication
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Industriales (UPM)
Department: Ingeniería Química Industrial y del Medio Ambiente
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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An important part of human intelligence is the ability to use language. Humans learn how to use language in a society of language users, which is probably the most effective way to learn a language from the ground up. Principles that might allow an artificial agents to learn language this way are not known at present. Here we present a framework which begins to address this challenge. Our auto-catalytic, endogenous, reflective architecture (AERA) supports the creation of agents that can learn natural language by observation. We present results from two experiments where our S1 agent learns human communication by observing two humans interacting in a realtime mock television interview, using gesture and situated language. Results show that S1 can learn multimodal complex language and multimodal communicative acts, using a vocabulary of 100 words with numerous sentence formats, by observing unscripted interaction between the humans, with no grammar being provided to it a priori, and only high-level information about the format of the human interaction in the form of high-level goals of the interviewer and interviewee and a small ontology. The agent learns both the pragmatics, semantics, and syntax of complex sentences spoken by the human subjects on the topic of recycling of objects such as aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic, and wood, as well as use of manual deictic reference and anaphora.

Funding Projects

FP7231453STREPUnspecifiedHUMANOBS – Humanoids that Learn Socio-Communicative Skills By Observation

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Item ID: 36810
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Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 25 Apr 2016 15:39
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2017 15:51
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