Transferring Adaptive Theory of Mind to social robots: insights from developmental psychology to robotics

08/31/2019 ∙ by Francesca Bianco, et al. ∙ 0

Despite the recent advancement in the social robotic field, important limitations restrain its progress and delay the application of robots in everyday scenarios. In the present paper, we propose to develop computational models inspired by our knowledge of human infants' social adaptive abilities. We believe this may provide solutions at an architectural level to overcome the limits of current systems. Specifically, we present the functional advantages that adaptive Theory of Mind (ToM) systems would support in robotics (i.e., mentalizing for belief understanding, proactivity and preparation, active perception and learning) and contextualize them in practical applications. We review current computational models mainly based on the simulation and teleological theories, and robotic implementations to identify the limitations of ToM functions in current robotic architectures and suggest a possible future developmental pathway. Finally, we propose future studies to create innovative computational models integrating the properties of the simulation and teleological approaches for an improved adaptive ToM ability in robots with the aim of enhancing human-robot interactions and permitting the application of robots in unexplored environments, such as disasters and construction sites. To achieve this goal, we suggest directing future research towards the modern cross-talk between the fields of robotics and developmental psychology.



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