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Collaborative Language Grounding Toward Situated Human-Robot Dialogue

Joyce Y. Chai, Rui Fang, Changsong Liu, Lanbo She


To enable situated human-robot dialogue, techniques to support grounded language communication are essential. One particular challenge is to ground human language to robot internal representation of the physical world. Although copresent in a shared environment, humans and robots have mismatched capabilities in reasoning, perception, and action. Their representations of the shared environment and joint tasks are significantly misaligned. Humans and robots will need to make extra effort to bridge the gap and strive for a common ground of the shared world. Only then, is the robot able to engage in language communication and joint tasks. Thus computational models for language grounding will need to take collaboration into consideration. A robot not only needs to incorporate collaborative effort from human partners to better connect human language to its own representation, but also needs to make extra collaborative effort to communicate its representation in language that humans can understand. To address these issues, the Language and Interaction Research group (LAIR) at Michigan State University has investigated multiple aspects of collaborative language grounding. This article gives a brief introduction to this research effort and discusses several collaborative approaches to grounding language to perception and action.

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