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Distinguished lecture: Antonio Chella – University of Palermo, Italy

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Nov 10

Date and time: 10 November 2022, 15:00-16:00 CET
Speaker: Antonio Chella – University of Palermo, Italy
Title: Robot Inner Speech: A Sign of Robot Self-Consciousness?

Where: Digital Futures hub, Osquars Backe 5, floor 2 at KTH main campus OR via Zoom

Speaker is online, but you are welcome to join us onsite at the hub and grab a cup of coffee. A maximum of 50 participants are onsite at the Digital Futures hub. First-come, first-served basis.

Location: Zoom
Meeting ID:695 6088 7455

Moderator: Robert Johansson:
Administrator: Emil Björnson

Watch the recorded presentation:


Picture of Antonio ChellaAbstract: Inner speech is thoroughly studied in humans and represents an interdisciplinary research issue involving psychology, neuroscience, and pedagogy. Inner speech is generally considered tightly linked to self-consciousness. The talk will discuss the potential of a robot’s inner speech alone and while cooperating with human partners. A cognitive architecture was designed at the RoboticsLab of the University of Palermo and integrated with standard robot routines into a complex robot framework. The human partner can easily trace the robot’s internal processes thanks to the robot’s monologue.

Moreover, the robot can better resolve conflicts leading to successful goal achievement. The talk will also present experiments on interactions of the architecture implemented on a Pepper robot by Softbank robotics. Results show that functional and transparency requirements are better met when inner speech accompanies human-robot interaction. Finally, the talk will discuss the role of inner speech in robot self-recognition by considering a variant of the mirror test.

Bio: Antonio Chella is a Professor of Robotics at the University of Palermo, Italy and the Director of the Robotics Lab at the Department of Engineering of the same University. He is an Associate with the Institute for High-Performance Computing and Networking (ICAR) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), and an Honorary Professor in Machine Learning and Optimisation at the School of Computer Science of the University of Manchester, UK. The primary research expertise of prof. Chella concerns with Machine Consciousness, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Robotics. He is a fellow of the Italian National Academy of Science, Humanities, and Arts. He received the James S. Albus Medal award of the Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architecture (BICA) Society for his outstanding contribution to the science of BICA and support and scientific achievement of the BICA Society. He is a founder and Editor in Chief of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness.


Link to profile