Directors of the School: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Directors of the Course: Sidney Strauss and Elena Pasquinelli
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani
Teaching, a bidirectional process – evidence from adult-child and human-robot interaction
When teaching their infants, adults modify their verbal and manual behavior for the infant learner (‘motherese’, ‘motionese’). Investigating the adults’ movement modifications when teaching actions, we found them to function as an orienting device to guide the infants’ visual attention and argue for an interactional account of ‘motionese’. Action modification and the recipient’s gaze have a reciprocal sequential relationship in a loop of constant mutual adjustments. In the field of robot learning, this bidirectional nature of teaching has hardly been considered. By providing feedback, a robot learner can also influence the human teacher’s movement demonstrations in the process of action learning. We argue that the robot's feedback strongly shapes how tutors signal what is relevant to an action and thus advocate a paradigm shift in robot action learning research toward truly interactive systems learning in and benefiting from interaction.
The goal of my research has been two-fold. On the one hand it aims to take insights gained from developmental studies of adult-child interaction and transfer them to robots learning from human tutors. On the other hand, it aims at making discoveries on human behavior by leveraging robot determinability in interaction.