Tony Belpaeme

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Séverin Lemaignan studying Theory of Mind

I am very excited about Dr Séverin Lemaignan joining us in a few months. Séverin will be working on his DOROTHY project, short for “Donating Robots a Theory of Mind”, for which he received funding from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme. As humans we take a Theory of Mind very much for granted, the skill to understand what others know, what they are thinking and what they are about to do is almost magic. It is only when someone’s ToM is impaired or completely lacking that you realise how crucial a tool it is. No longer having access to what people around you know and think about their environment and about others leaves you very much on the back foot when trying to respond appropriately in a social environment. Unfortunately, as with so many skills that seem natural to us humans, a Theory of Mind is very difficult to build for a robot. Séverin will join us from EPFL in the summer of 2015 to try and do just that: build an artificial Theory of Mind.

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