None of us is a stranger to the downsides of the pandemic. For families with kids, kindergartens and schools closed during the lockdown, and parents had to manage schooling and working from home.
Yet there is a silver lining: our research shows that, in families where a parent’s mother tongue is not the language spoken in wider society, children learned more about that language during lockdowns.
Typically, AI models start with a blank slate and are trained on data with many different examples, from which the model constructs knowledge. But research on infants suggests this is not what babies do. Instead of building knowledge from scratch, infants start with some principled expectations about objects.
The exciting finding by Piloto and colleagues is that a deep-learning AI system modelled on what babies do, outperforms a system that begins with a blank slate and tries to learn based on experience alone.
Hosted by Jamila Rizvi, the eight-part series discusses ground-breaking research from Western Sydney University experts in psychology, linguistics, speech and language, and explores topics such as baby talk, bilingualism, learning to read, first words and play.