Kids and robots learning to play hide and seek

The following paper describes a field study about Children and robots learning to play hide and seek (by a research group from the Naval Research Laboratory).

How do children learn how to play hide and seek? At age 3-4, children do not typically have perspective taking ability, so their hiding ability should be extremely limited. We show through a case study that a 3 1/2 year old child can, in fact, play a credible game of hide and seek, even though she does not seem to have perspective taking ability. We propose that children are able to learn how to play hide and seek by learning the features and relations of objects (e.g., containment, under) and use that information to play a credible game of hide and seek. We model this hypothesis within the ACT-R cognitive architecture and put the model on a robot, which is able to mimic the child's hiding behavior. We also take the “hiding” model and use it as the basis for a “seeking” model. We suggest that using the same representations and procedures that a person uses allows better interaction between the human and robotic system.

Why do I blog this? I found interesting the idea of "a specific object-relationship hypothesis dealing with how children learn to play hide and seek, and the second representational hypothesis dealing with the types of representations and algorithms or procedures that should be used for intelligent systems". Food for thoughts about cognition and problem solving.