Toward a Pragmatic Understanding of the Cognitive Underpinnings of Symbol Grounding

Toward a Pragmatic Understanding of the Cognitive Underpinnings of Symbol Grounding

Ben Goertzel (Virginia Tech, National Capital Region, USA), Moshe Looks (Washington University, USA), Ari Heljakka (Novamente LLC, USA) and Cassino Pennachin (Vetta Technologies, Brazil)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-063-9.ch004
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Abstract

We describe a research project investigating “symbol grounding” – the dynamics by which psychological connections are made between abstract symbols and concrete physical phenomena observed via sense perception and motor action. The project involves the use of a 3D simulated environment (AGI-SIM) as a medium for training, teaching and developing an integrative, general-intelligence-oriented AI software system (the Novamente AI Engine). Via acting in AGI-SIM, Novamente forms concrete sensorimotor groundings for abstract relationships, such as those expressed in English by prepositions and subject-argument relationships. We describe results obtained using probabilistic-evolutionary learning within Novamente to learn groundings for the concept “near”, the use of these groundings in practical procedure learning (e.g. learning to play “fetch” in a simulated world), and we then discuss the correlation of these groundings with linguistic usage of related words, and the use of these groundings within analogical and other sorts of inference.

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