Designing Robots That Learn As Effortlessly As Babies

A wide-eyed, rosy-cheeked, babbling human baby hardly looks like the ultimate learning machine.

But under the hood, an 18-month-old can outlearn any state-of-the-art artificial intelligence algorithm.

Their secret sauce?

They watch; they imitate; and they extrapolate.

Artificial intelligence researchers have begun to take notice. This week, two separate teams dipped their toes into cognitive psychology and developed new algorithms that teach machines to learn like babies. One instructs computers to imitate; the other, to extrapolate.

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