I recently defended my Ph.D. thesis entitled "Towards Social Autotelic Artificial Agents - Formation and Exploitation of Cultural Conventions in Autonomous Embodied Artificial Agents". [Manuscript] [Presentation] [Slides]

I conducted my Ph.D. at Inria in the Flowers team under the supervision of Pierre-Yves Oudeyer and Clément Moulin-Frier.

I'm on the job market! I'm looking for research scientist, postdoc, permanent researcher and assistant professor positions

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, adapting them to legal language.

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


Contrastive Multimodal Learning for Emergence of Graphical Sensory-Motor Communication
T. Karch*, Y. Lemesle*, R. Laroche, C. Moulin-Frier and P.Y. Oudeyer


Vygotskian Autotelic Artificial Intelligence: Language and Culture Internalization for Human-Like AI
Nature Machine Intelligence
Nature Machine Intelligence
C.Colas*, T. Karch*, C. Moulin-Frier and P.Y. Oudeyer


Learning to Guide and to Be Guided in the Architect-Builder Problem
ICLR 2022
B. Barde*, T. Karch*, D. Nowrouzezahrai, C. Moulin-Frier, C. Pal and P.Y. Oudeyer

[Paper][Website] [Presentation]

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


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


Intrinsically Motivated Goal-Conditioned Reinforcement Learning: a Short Survey
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



Learning to Guide and to Be Guided in the Architect-Builder Problem2022, January 14
RL Sofa at Mila, 2022, January 14


Vygotskian Autotelic Agents2021, July 26
Invited Talk at the Minds at Play! workshop of Cogsci 2021 , 2021, July 26


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


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


Blog Posts

Summary: Humans have an outstanding ability to teach and learn form each other without relying on pre-established communication protocol (not even expressing rewards). Could machine do the same? In this blog post we propose a new interactive learning paradigm to investigate this question.

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.