BiographyUtku Norman is a doctoral assistant at CHILI Lab, and a PhD student in Computer Science at EPFL, Switzerland. He is driven by a desire to help build a better future, and understand the world along the way: His chosen course for how is advancing machine intelligence to develop systems that try to understand us.
Utku is curious about how humans, unlike robots, come to be so highly skilled in understanding each other, and detecting and addressing misunderstandings. One way humans do so is by representing whether the others understood what we said or did by using the complex cognitive ability of mutual modelling, i.e. the reciprocal ability to construct a mental representation of the other, by attributing beliefs, desires and other mental states to the other. This ability is critical in order for humans to comprehend each other and react appropriately in their interactions. Thus, the main goal of my PhD is to equip a robot with mutual modelling ability, and use this ability in an educational activity in order to improve the quality of the interactions between the robot and a learner and (hopefully) the learning outcomes.