INTERSPEECH 2009
10th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brighton, United Kingdom
September 6-10, 2009

KLAIR: A Virtual Infant for Spoken Language Acquisition Research

Mark Huckvale (1), Ian S. Howard (2), Sascha Fagel (3)

(1) University College London, UK
(2) University of Cambridge, UK
(3) Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

Recent research into the acquisition of spoken language has stressed the importance of learning through embodied linguistic interaction with caregivers rather than through passive observation. However the necessity of interaction makes experimental work into the simulation of infant speech acquisition difficult because of the technical complexity of building real-time embodied systems. In this paper we present KLAIR: a software toolkit for building simulations of spoken language acquisition through interactions with a virtual infant. The main part of KLAIR is a sensori-motor server that supplies a client machine learning application with a virtual infant on screen that can see, hear and speak. By encapsulating the real-time complexities of audio and video processing within a server that will run on a modern PC, we hope that KLAIR will encourage and facilitate more experimental research into spoken language acquisition through interaction.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Huckvale, Mark / Howard, Ian S. / Fagel, Sascha (2009): "KLAIR: a virtual infant for spoken language acquisition research", In INTERSPEECH-2009, 696-699.