Description: This report describes work carried out under a Sandia National Laboratories Excellence in Engineering Fellowship in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Our research group (at UIUC) is developing a intelligent robot, and attempting to teach it language. While there are many aspects of this research, for the purposes of this report the most important are the following ideas. Language is primarily based on semantics, not syntax. To truly learn meaning, the language engine must be part of an embodied intelligent system, one capable of using associative learning to form concepts from the perception of experiences in the world, and further capable of manipulating those concepts symbolically. In the work described here, we explore the use of hidden Markov models (HMMs) in this capacity. HMMs are capable of automatically learning and extracting the underlying structure of continuous-valued inputs and representing that structure in the states of the model. These states can then be treated as symbolic representations of the inputs. We describe a composite model consisting of a cascade of HMMs that can be embedded in a small mobile robot and used to learn correlations among sensory inputs to create symbolic concepts. These symbols can then be manipulated linguistically and used for decision making. This is the project final report for the University Collaboration LDRD project, 'A Robotic Framework for Semantic Concept Learning'.
Date: September 1, 2004
Creator: Squire, Kevin M. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL.); Levinson, Stephen E. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL.) & Xavier, Patrick Gordon
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