Re: Harnad: The Symbol Grounding Problem

From: Watfa Nadine (
Date: Wed May 30 2001 - 11:56:29 BST

>> Watfa:
>> the robotic Turing Test [cannot] be passed by just a symbol
>>system (computation alone). It needs a hybrid
>>symbolic/sensorimotor system: combining both symbol
>>systems and connectionism.

>And what is the answer to someone who says: "Sensing and
>moving themselves are not symbolic, but everything else is. So
>it's really just a computer, computing, and using
>sensors/effectors as I/O devices."

I have changed my opinion since my last statement. A computer,
computing, and using sensors/effectors as I/O devices is not
enough to pass the Turing Test. Just because sensors have been
embedded to the computer it does not imply that the computer is
not "intelligent" and able to "think" for itself, since these sensors
are still extrinsic to the computer itself.

>> Watfa:
>> Combining both connectionism and symbol systems results in
>> a hybrid system that should be able to pass the Turing
>> Test, and answer AI's "How?" question: "what is it that
>> makes a system able to do the kinds of things normal people
>> can do?"

>Well, they're a possible way to design a successful candidate,
>but symbols + nets could also prove to be insufficient...

According to Ziemke (1997) this solution is not sufficient enough
to produce a successful candidate since it only addresses part of
the problem. The grounding problem is not just limited to
symbolic representations and as a result cannot be solved by just a
hybrid system.

Causal connections have not been considered in Harnad's paper
which would allow the internal mechanisms of the agent to
interact with their environment directly and intrinsically. If
Harnad's solution is in fact a viable one, has it been implemented
and tested? If not, why not? And if so, was it a success?

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