CE28 - Cognition, éducation, formation

Mastering the Art of Conversation in Middle Childhood – MACoMiC

Submission summary

Conversation is a ubiquitous and important activity in our lives. Cognitive scientists consider it as a hallmark of human cognition as it relies on a sophisticated ability for coordination and shared attention (Tomasello & Rakoczy, 2007; Laland & Seed, 2021). Prominent computer scientists have described it as the ultimate test for Artificial Intelligence (Turing, 1950). When conversational skills are not well developed, they can negatively impact our ability to learn from others and to maintain relationships (Murphy et al., 2014). Thus, the scientific study of how conversational skills develop in childhood and how these skills precisely relate to their underlying cognitive processes is of utmost importance to understand what makes human socio-cognition so special, to design better AI, and to allow more targeted and efficient clinical interventions (e.g., for individuals with autism). Yet, little is known about conversational development, largely because of the methodological limitations of traditional research methods. The current project leverages recent advances in machine learning to model children’s conversational development both at the behavioral and cognitive levels. The broad impact of this project is to develop a computational model of conversation that will not only advance our theoretical understanding but also serve as a computational foundation upon which several societal applications can be built.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Abdellah Fourtassi (Laboratoire d'Informatique et Systèmes)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LIS Laboratoire d'Informatique et Systèmes

Help of the ANR 286,845 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: March 2022 - 42 Months

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