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Since january 2008, I am a research scientist in INRIA Bordeaux - Sud-Ouest, heading the FLOWERS team, in developmental and social robotics. Before that, I have been a permanent researcher in Sony Computer Science Lab in Paris for 8 years (2000-2007). I studied computer science in Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and obtained my PhD in artificial intelligence from University Paris VI. I am interested in the mechanisms that allow humans and robots to develop perceptual, motivational, behavioral and social capabilities to become capable of sharing cultural representations and of natural embodied interaction.
My recent work in developmental and social robotics focuses on sensorimotor development: how can we build robots that can learn a variety of novel reusable skills in initially unknown environments, either by themselves or through interaction with social peers? In this research, concepts from developmental psychology are imported, formalized and implemented in robots. In particular, I am developing systems capable of intrinsically motivated exploration and learning, aka artificial curiosity, as well as biologically inspired methods of human-robot interaction.
In previous years, I have also used robots to study how new linguistic conventions can be established in a society of individuals, as well as the mechanisms of language acquisition. There is a double objective: 1) contributing to the understanding of the acquisition and evolution of language(s) (see my book), 2) developing new technological approaches for building intelligent sociable robots.
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