Hello! I am Tristan Karch, a Ph.D. student at Inria in the Flowers team under the supervision of Pierre-Yves Oudeyer and Clément Moulin-Frier. I am working on Grounding Language Agents and Curiosity-driven exploration. I am studying how autonomous agents can be efficient learners in social contexts.

Short Bio

I have a diverse academic background ranging from Mechanical Engineering to Machine Learning. I started by completing a BSc and MSc at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, where I specialized in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Computational Science. I also followed a joint master’s degree program with the Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE-Supaero) in Toulouse, France and graduated from the Data and Decision Sciences progam.

After my studies I moved to New York to join the Innovation Lab of BNP Paribas, a major french bank. I was working on implementing state of the art Natural Language Processing models in order to understand legal language.

Since october 2019, I joind the Flowers team at Inria Bordeaux as a PhD sutdent under the supervision of Pierre-Yves Oudeyer and Clément Moulin-Frier.


Grounding Spatio-Temporal Language with Transformer NeurIPS 2021
NeurIPS 2021
T. Karch*, L. Teodorescu*, K. Hoffman, C. Moulin-Frier and P.Y. Oudeyer

[Paper] [Code]

Language as a Cognitive Tool to Imagine Goals in Curiosity-Driven Exploration NeurIPS 2020
NeurIPS 2020
C. Colas*, T. Karch*, N. Lair*, J.M. Dussoux, C. Moulin-Frier, P.F. Dominey and P.Y. Oudeyer

[Paper] [Code] [Colab] [Blog Post]

Intrinsically Motivated Goal-Conditioned Reinforcement Learning: a Short Survey Under review
Under Review
C. Colas, T. Karch, O. Sigaud and P.Y. Oudeyer


Deep Sets for Generalization in RL ICLR 2020 BeTRL Workshop
ICLR 2020 BeTRL Workshop
T. Karch*, C. Colas*, L. Teodorescu, C. Moulin-Frier and P.Y. Oudeyer



Vygotskian Autotelic Agents 2021, July 26
2021, July 26
Invited Talk at the Minds at Play! workshop of Cogsci 2021


Word Representation for Natural Language Processing (Part 2) 2019, February 22
2019, February 22
BNP Paribas AI Lunch Talk in New York


Word Representation for Natural Language Processing (Part 1) 2019, February 22
2019, January 28
BNP Paribas AI Lunch Talk in New York


Blog Posts

Summary: This blog post presents a supra-communicative view of language and advocates for the use of language as a cognitive tool to organize the cognitive development of intrinsically motivated artificial agents. We go over studies revealing the cognitive functions of language in humans, cover similar uses of language in the design of artificial agents and advocate for the pursuit of Vygotskian embodied agents - artificial agents that leverage language as a cognitive tool to structure their continuous experience, form abstract representations, reason, imagine creative goals, plan towards them and simulate future possibilities.