From babbling towards first words : The emergence of speech in a robot in real-time interaction
This paper describes a system that simulates word form acquisition without meaning as a preliminary stage in language acquisition, through interaction with a human teacher. The system extracts phonemes from the teacher's speech and supplies them to a linguistically enabled synthetic agent. The agent babbles initially but gradually, words begin to emerge as the agent biases its babble towards the speech of the teacher. Experiments are conducted in real-time with a human teacher interacting with the agent embodied in the iCub humanoid robot.