Deb Roy wants to make robots smarter by getting them to imitate his kid
By Nikhil Swaminathan

When Deb Roy and his wife have overnight guests that might encounter their two-and-a-half-year-old son—the couple is withholding his name to protect his privacy—the first thing they do is ask their visitors to fill out a consent form. Unusual, for sure, but the couple is merely trying to make people aware that their actions and voices may be captured by the 11 fish-eye cameras and 14 microphones hidden around their Cambridge, Mass., home listening in on nearly every sound their son has ever uttered.

The two main goals of the setup: to understand how children acquire language and use the intelligence gleaned to teach robots to talk.