Robot learning simultaneously a task and how to interpret human instructions

Authors: Grizou, Jonathan and Lopes, Manuel and Oudeyer, Pierre-Yves

Abstract: This paper presents an algorithm to bootstrap shared understanding in a human-robot interaction scenario where the user teaches a robot a new task using teaching instructions yet unknown to it. In such cases, the robot needs to estimate simultaneously what the task is and the associated meaning of instructions received from the user. For this work, we consider a scenario where a human teacher uses initially unknown spoken words, whose associated unknown meaning is either a feedback (good/bad) or a guidance (go left, right, ...). We present computational results, within an inverse reinforcement learning framework, showing that a) it is possible to learn the meaning of unknown and noisy teaching instructions, as well as a new task at the same time, b) it is possible to reuse the acquired knowledge about instructions for learning new tasks, and c) even if the robot initially knows some of the instructions' meanings, the use of extra unknown teaching instructions improves learning efficiency.

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