'Simplified' brain lets the iCub robot learn language (w/ Video)
It's a Flash video, so I'm not sure how to embed it. The technology is impressive; but, the video is somewhat amusing in that the command sentence is in English, but the person working with the robot is a native French speaker, and the sentence is, "Point the guitar, before you put on the left the violin." The robot gets it; but I think the sentence should be, "Point to the guitar, before you put the violin on the left." The second part of the sentence is probably deliberately jumbled to demonstrate the robot's abilities.
(Phys.org)—This technological prowess was made possible by the development of a "simplified artificial brain" that reproduces certain types of so-called "recurrent" connections observed in the human brain.
The artificial brain system enables the robot to learn, and subsequently understand, new sentences containing a new grammatical structure. It can link two sentences together and even predict how a sentence will end before it is uttered. This research has been published in the Plos One journal.
INSERM and CNRS researchers and the Université Lyon 1 have succeeded in developing an "artificial neuronal network" constructed on the basis of a fundamental principle of the workings of the human brain, namely its ability to learn a new language. The model was developed after years of research in the INSERM 846 Unit of the Institut de recherche sur les cellules souches et cerveau, through studying the structure of the human brain and understanding the mechanisms used for learning.
One of the most remarkable aspects of language-processing is the speed at which it is performed. For example, the human brain processes the first words of a sentence in real time and anticipates what follows, thus improving the speed with which humans process information. Still in real time, the brain continually revises its predictions through interaction between new information and a previously created context. The region inside the brain linking the frontal cortex and the striatum plays a crucial role in this process.