Teaching Bert: iCub Robot Learns About the World
Bert, the iCub humanoid robot, is helping researchers better understand how humans create mental models of the world around them.
Professor Steve Levinson and his colleagues in the Language Acquisition and Robotics Lab at the Beckman Institute are particularly interested in getting Bert to interact with humans using spoken, natural language.
The research revolves around the idea of embodied cognition. Unlike other forms of artificial intelligence, the models that Bert uses to understand the world aren't given to him by outside programmers. Instead, the iCub creates its mental models itself by directly interacting with the researchers and the world around it using its physical body. The researchers hope that, since Bert has a physical body similar to a human's, the mental models that it creates will be more like a human's as well.
Stephen Levinson is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and full-time faculty member in Beckmanâ€™s Artificial Intelligence Group.
To learn more about the latest research being done with Bert, please visit...
in Professor Stephen Levinson's Language Acquisition and Robotics Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. study how humans create mental models
Professor Stephen Levinson and his Language Acquisition and Robotics Laboratory are working to Levinson and his group are training Bert to learn language as a child would, in order to gain insight into human psychology and neurophysiological development. In this video, Levinson lab member Jacob Bryan describes how he got Bert to sing.
The iCub has a sense of touch (key for acquiring language, such as when learning to differentiate between a hard object and a soft object), its hands permit dexterous manipulation, and its head and eyes are fully articulated.
For read more about the latest research being performed with Bert, please visit...
New Super-Fast MRI Technique: Singing 'If I Only Had a Brain'
Researchers use a new technique that is 10-times faster than standard MRI scanners to illustrate how the hundreds of muscles in our neck, jaw, tongue, and lips work together to produce sound.
Assistant professor in Speech and Hearing Science, and Beckman Institute faculty member, Aaron Johnson demonstrates the real-time imaging capabilities in song.
The basis for the technique was developed by electrical and computer engineering professor Zhi-Pei Liang's group at the Beckman Institute. Brad Sutton, associate professor in Bioengineering, and his team further developed and implemented the technique to make high-speed speech imaging possible.
The technique captures MRI images at a far faster rate than any other MRI technique in the world. This dynamic imaging is especially useful in studying how rapidly the tongue is moving, along with other muscles in the head and neck during speech and singing.
â€œTypically, MRI imaging is able to acquire maybe 10 frames per second or so. But we are able to scan 100 frames per second, without sacrificing the quality of the images,â€ said Brad Sutton, technical director of Beckman's Biomedical Imaging Center.
To read more, please visit...
21st Century Scientist Career Panel
A career panel discussion with experts representing diverse and interesting paths to traditional and non-traditional science careers. From working at the National Institutes of Health, to NASA, to science industry journals, the panelists have had, and continue to have, valuable careers. Listen to the the planned and unplanned twists and turns that led these four scientists to the positions they hold today!
21st CENTURY SCIENTIST CAREER PANEL:
Director of Research Information Analytics, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Illinois...
Marine Biologist, Legislative Assistant for Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)...
Freelance Science Journalist...
Former NASA administrator, Associate Director for Research, Beckman Institute...
Kate Clancy (Moderator),
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Univ. of Illinois,
Chair, 21st Century Scientists Working Group.
The 21st Century Scientist Workshop was comprised of three workshops and a panel of experts to help attendees think about the craft of communication, crafting a community, changing the world, and how to leverage scientific education and training into a wonderful career.
The workshop was held on April 17, 2015, at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.
For more information, please visit...
Visit the 2015 Beckman Institute Open House
Visit the 2015 Beckman Institute Open House on March 13-14!
Follow us on Twitter: #BIOH15
Friday, March 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Beckman Institute Open House is a biennial event, held in conjunction with the University of Illinois College of Engineering Open House. Our open house exhibits highlight the work taking place at one of the nationâ€™s leading centers for interdisciplinary research. Schools, clubs, and other large groups are welcome.
Beckman Institute, 405 North Mathews Avenue, Urbana, Illinois. The Beckman Institute is located on the University of Illinois campus at the intersection of Mathews and University Avenue. Metered parking is available in the parking deck across from the Institute on Mathews and Goodwin.