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—Exploratory activities seem to be intrinsically rewarding for children and crucial for their cognitive development. Can a machine be endowed with such an intrinsic motivation system? This is the question we study in this paper, presenting a number of computational systems that try to capture this drive towards novel or curious situations. After discussing(More)
This paper discusses the concept of joint attention and the different skills underlying its development. We argue that joint attention is much more than gaze following or simultaneous looking because it implies a shared intentional relation to the world. The current state-of-the-art in robotic and computational models of the different prerequisites of joint(More)
This paper presents the mechanism of Intelligent Adap-tive Curiosity. This is an intrinsic motivation system which pushes the robot towards situations in which it maximizes its learning progress. It makes the robot focus on situations which are neither too predictable nor too unpredictable. This mechanism is a source of autonomous mental development for the(More)
In this paper, we present a first series of experiments with prototype artificial whiskers that have been developed in our laboratory. These experiments have been inspired by neuroscience research on real rats. In spite of the enormous potential of whiskers, they have to date not been systematically investigated and exploited by roboticists. Although the(More)
− Many studies address how neurons in the barrel cortex of rats react to stimulation of the rat's whiskers. In this study we analyse how the statistical properties of whisker deflections from typical surfaces relate to the properties of neurons in the somatosensory system. We built an artificial whisker system to record realistic natural tactile data. An(More)
It is largely unknown how the properties of the somatosen-sory system relate to the properties of naturally occurring whisker deflections. Here, we analyse representations of simulated neurons that have optimally sparse activity in response to recorded reflections of a rat whisker from surfaces of everyday objects. These representations predict a number of(More)
In order to bootstrap shared communication systems, robots must have a non-verbal way to influence the attention of one another. This chapter presents an experiment in which a robot learns to interpret pointing gestures of another robot. We show that simple feature-based neural learning techniques permit reliably to discriminate between left and right(More)
Proper usability evaluations of spoken dialogue systems are costly and cumbersome to carry out. In this paper, we present a new approach for facilitating usability evaluations which is based on user error simulations. The idea is to replace real users with simulations derived from empirical observations of users' erroneous behavior. The simulated errors(More)