Robots Learning from Human Teachers

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
WRW 113
Free and open to the public

The vision of my research is to enable robots to function in real human environments; such as, service robots helping at home, co-worker robots to revolutionize manufacturing, and assistive robots empowering healthcare workers and enabling aging adults to live longer in their homes. To do this, we need to build intelligent robots that can be embedded into human environments to interact with everyday people. Many of the successes of robotics to date rely on structured environments and repeatable tasks, but what all of these visions have in common is deploying robots into dynamic human environments where pre-programmed controllers won’t be an option. These robots will need to interact with end users in order to learn what they need to do on-the-job.

In this talk I present recent work from the Socially Intelligent Machines Lab at Georgia Tech. Our research aims to computationally model mechanisms of human social learning in order to build robots and other machines that are intuitive for people to teach. We take Machine Learning interactions and redesign interfaces and algorithms to support the collection of learning input from end users instead of ML experts. This talk covers results on building models of reciprocal interactions, high-level task goal learning, low-level skill learning, and active learning interactions using humanoid robot platforms.

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Andrea L Thomaz

Andrea L. Thomaz

Associate Professor of Interactive Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology

Andrea L. Thomaz is an Associate Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She directs the Socially Intelligent Machines lab, which is affiliated with the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM). She earned a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999, and Sc.M. and Ph.D. degrees from MIT in 2002 and 2006. Dr. Thomaz has published in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Human-Robot Interaction. She received an ONR Young Investigator Award in 2008, and an NSF CAREER award in 2010. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, on NOVA Science Now, she was named one of MIT Technology Review’s TR 35 in 2009, and on Popular Science Magazine’s Brilliant 10 list in 2012.