[ExI] e: GPT-4 on its inability to solve the symbol grounding problem

Gordon Swobe gordon.swobe at gmail.com
Mon Apr 17 20:56:31 UTC 2023

On Mon, Apr 17, 2023 at 1:58 PM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

I suppose that's what I want, a graphical representation
> of what you mean by 'grounding', incorporating these links.

Not sure how to do it incorporating your links. I started scratching my
head trying to think of the best way to diagram it, then it occured to me
to ask GPT-4. It certainly "understands" the symbol grounding problem and
why it cannot solve it for itself. Here is its solution.

How would you draw a diagram of symbol grounding to make it easy to

To create an easily understandable diagram of symbol grounding, follow
these steps:

Start with three main components:
a. Sensorimotor experience (perception and action)
b. Symbolic representation (language, symbols)
c. Grounding (the process that connects symbols to experience)

Draw three circles, one for each component, and label them accordingly:
a. A circle for "Sensorimotor Experience" at the bottom left
b. A circle for "Symbolic Representation" at the bottom right
c. A circle for "Grounding" at the top center

Connect the circles with arrows to represent the flow of information:
a. Draw an arrow from "Sensorimotor Experience" to "Grounding"
b. Draw an arrow from "Symbolic Representation" to "Grounding"
c. Draw an arrow from "Grounding" back to both "Sensorimotor Experience"
and "Symbolic Representation"

Add brief descriptions to each arrow to clarify the processes:
a. Arrow from "Sensorimotor Experience" to "Grounding": "Extraction of
features and patterns"
b. Arrow from "Symbolic Representation" to "Grounding": "Association of
symbols with features and patterns"
c. Arrow from "Grounding" back to "Sensorimotor Experience": "Guided
perception and action"
d. Arrow from "Grounding" back to "Symbolic Representation": "Generation of
meaningful symbols"

Add examples to make the diagram more relatable:
a. Next to "Sensorimotor Experience", you can add an image of a cat and a
person observing the cat
b. Next to "Symbolic Representation", you can write the word "cat" or draw
a simple icon representing a cat
c. Add an image of a brain or a thinking cloud in the "Grounding" circle

With these steps, you will create a diagram that visually represents the
concept of symbol grounding, making it easier to understand. The examples
and descriptions help clarify the connections between sensorimotor
experiences, symbolic representations, and the grounding process.


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