Simon plays Simon says: The timing of turn-taking in an imitation game
Thomaz, Andrea L.
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Turn-taking is fundamental to the way humans engage in information exchange, but robots currently lack the turn-taking skills required for natural communication. In order to bring effective turn-taking to robots, we must first understand the underlying processes in the context of what is possible to implement. We describe a data collection experiment with an interaction format inspired by “Simon says,” a turn-taking imitation game that engages the channels of gaze, speech, and motion. We analyze data from 23 human subjects interacting with a humanoid social robot and propose the principle of minimum necessary information (MNI) as a factor in determining the timing of the human response.We also describe the other observed phenomena of channel exclusion, efficiency, and adaptation. We discuss the implications of these principles and propose some ways to incorporate our findings into a computational model of turn-taking.