Robot learns language through 'conversation' with people
A robot analogous to a child between 6 and 14 months old can develop rudimentary linguistic skills through interaction with a human participant. Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire, suggest that this work may be useful for understanding language acquisition in humans. By engaging in a few minutes of "conversation" with humans, in which the participants were instructed to speak to the robot as if it were a small child, the robot moved from random syllabic babble to producing wordforms, such as the names of simple shapes and colors. The participants were not researchers involved in the project, and did not use any prescribed lines. Infants are sensitive to the frequency of sounds in speech, and these experiments present how this sensitivity can be modelled and can contribute to the learning of word forms by a robot.