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Mark Lee

Social Computers and Conversational Robots

Hay Festival 2022 , 

Despite remarkable recent advances, Artificial Intelligence systems are still heavily task-focused, still obsessively following a (usually) single goal. Even Deep Learning has to be trained on very specific data for a given problem. But AI systems should be more perceptive, animated, and responsive – more like humans and less like computers, more social than machine-like, and more playful and less programmed.

A new developmental paradigm offers a way forward in which models of infant learning show how computers and robots can learn from their own experience, develop a sense of ‘self’ and eventually become great social conversationalists.

Imagining a new path towards human-centred technology, Mark Lee shows how this truly significant step-change in human-computer interactions will influence and shape all future digital technology. Lee is an Emeritus Professor of Computer Science who has researched AI and robotics for 40 years and is author of How to Grow a Robot: Developing Human-Friendly, Social AI.

Mark Lee