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Active inference and robot control: a case study.

Pio-Lopez, L; Nizard, A; Friston, K; Pezzulo, G; (2016) Active inference and robot control: a case study. Journal of the Royal Society Interface , 13 (122) 10.1098/rsif.2016.0616. Green open access

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Abstract

Active inference is a general framework for perception and action that is gaining prominence in computational and systems neuroscience but is less known outside these fields. Here, we discuss a proof-of-principle implementation of the active inference scheme for the control or the 7-DoF arm of a (simulated) PR2 robot. By manipulating visual and proprioceptive noise levels, we show under which conditions robot control under the active inference scheme is accurate. Besides accurate control, our analysis of the internal system dynamics (e.g. the dynamics of the hidden states that are inferred during the inference) sheds light on key aspects of the framework such as the quintessentially multimodal nature of control and the differential roles of proprioception and vision. In the discussion, we consider the potential importance of being able to implement active inference in robots. In particular, we briefly review the opportunities for modelling psychophysiological phenomena such as sensory attenuation and related failures of gain control, of the sort seen in Parkinson's disease. We also consider the fundamental difference between active inference and optimal control formulations, showing that in the former the heavy lifting shifts from solving a dynamical inverse problem to creating deep forward or generative models with dynamics, whose attracting sets prescribe desired behaviours.

Type: Article
Title: Active inference and robot control: a case study.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2016.0616
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2016.0616
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: active inference, free energy, robot control
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1520078
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