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Beyond here-and-now : extending shared physical experiences to shared conceptual experiences

By Ruth Schulz, Gordon Wyeth and Janet Wiles


For robots to use language effectively, they need to refer to combinations of existing concepts, as well as concepts that have been directly experienced. In this paper, we introduce the term generative grounding to refer to the establishment of shared meaning for concepts referred to using relational terms. We investigated a spatial domain, which is both experienced and constructed using mobile robots with cognitive maps. The robots, called Lingodroids, established lexicons for locations, distances, and directions through structured conversations called where-are-we, how-far, what-direction, and where-is-there conversations. Distributed concept construction methods were used to create flexible concepts, based on a data structure called a distributed lexicon table. The lexicon was extended from words for locations, termed toponyms, to words for the relational terms of distances and directions. New toponyms were then learned using these relational operators. Effective grounding was tested by using the new toponyms as targets for go-to games, in which the robots independently navigated to named locations. The studies demonstrate how meanings can be extended from grounding in shared physical experiences to grounding in constructed cognitive experiences, giving the robots a language that refers to their direct experiences, and to constructed worlds that are beyond the here-and-now

Topics: 080100 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND IMAGE PROCESSING, 080101 Adaptive Agents and Intelligent Robotics, Lingodroids, Spatial language, Language game, Cognitive map, Robots, Generative grounding
Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1177/1059712312449546
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