Connectionist semantic systematicity
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SourceCognition, 110, 3, (2009), pp. 358-379
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC PL
SW OZ DCC AI
SW OZ NICI CO
SW OZ NICI KI
SubjectCognitive artificial intelligence; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control
Fodor and Pylyshyn [Fodor, J. A., & Pylyshyn, Z. W. (1988). Connectionism and cognitive architecture: A critical analysis. Cognition, 28, 3–71] argue that connectionist models are not able to display systematicity other than by implementing a classical symbol system. This claim entails that connectionism cannot compete with the classical approach as an alternative architectural framework for human cognition. We present a connectionist model of sentence comprehension that does not implement a symbol system yet behaves systematically. It consists in a recurrent neural network that maps sentences describing situations in a microworld, onto representations of these situations. After being trained on particular sentence–situation pairs, the model can comprehend new sentences, even if these describe new situations. We argue that this systematicity arises robustly and in a psychologically plausible manner because it depends on structure inherent in the world.
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