Andrew Gordon and Stacy Marsella: “Research Workshop: Theory of Mind”

October 12, 2007 | USC ICT

Speaker: Andrew Gordon and Stacy Marsella

The Theory of Mind Workshop brought together researchers from several relevant disciplines, including psychology, philosophy, neural science, linguistics and computer science to discuss a range of topics including alternative theories about how people model others, the roles those models play in human social interaction as well as how these theories can be computational modeled.

This workshop yielded many benefits for the Institute for Creative Technologies and the U.S. Army. Because of the central role theory of mind plays in human social interaction, there has been a growing interest in computationally modeling of theory of mind. These computational models are, in particular, playing a role in improving human-computer, and human-robot, interaction. The Institute of Creative Technology is a leader in research in such applications, especially the design of virtual humans that can interact with people much like people interact with each other. In addition, computational models and virtual humans are increasingly being used as methodological tools in the psychological study of human behavior. By bringing together researchers from the many fields studying theory of mind, we created a cross-fertilization of ideas and opened up new research approaches.

The workshop organizers plan to pursue numerous collaborations that resulted from workshop activities, and plan to publish an article describing interdisciplinary approaches to Theory of Mind reasoning at an upcoming international conference on Artificial Intelligence.