Kira Mourão
University of Edinburgh
...news...

I have recently joined the Barton Group at the University of Dundee.

...about me...

I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate based in the Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation (ILCC) in the School of Informatics, at the University of Edinburgh. Currently I work on the EU project Xperience developing new methods for grounding action representations for robots. My broad research interests are in both using cognitive robotics to inform theories of grounded cognition, and also in applying theories of grounded cognition to develop cognitive robots.

My work on Xperience focuses on how robots can autonomously learn a model of how their world works, in the form of descriptions of preconditions and effects of their actions, which can then be used by standard AI planners to build plans for the robot to execute. I'm starting to explore the possibilities to boost this learning by exploiting information available on the web e.g. by extracting partial action descriptions from web data and integrating them into the learning process. Although (and because) my current work assumes symbolic descriptions of the world are available to the robot, I'm also interested in how robots can learn a mapping from raw sensor data to such symbolic descriptions, specifically spatial relations.

My PhD thesis, Learning Action Representations Using Kernel Perceptrons, was supervised by Mark Steedman, David Willshaw and Ron Petrick. My PhD research related to the hypothesis that the human brain may represent objects in terms of the actions they afford, that is, their affordances. It focused on learning a representation of the world based on the actions of an agent and the object affordances it perceives. The resulting representation was intended to support a planner by providing STRIPS-like rules describing the world dynamics.

...contact details...

Email: firstname.lastname@ed.ac.uk
Office: Informatics Forum 3.29