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Keywords:

  • Symbol grounding;
  • Epigenetic robotics;
  • Human-robot interaction;
  • Embodied cognition;
  • Language evolution;
  • Imitation;
  • Grounding transfer

Abstract

The grounding of symbols in computational models of linguistic abilities is one of the fundamental properties of psychologically plausible cognitive models. In this article, we present an embodied model for the grounding of language in action based on epigenetic robots. Epigenetic robotics is one of the new cognitive modeling approaches to modeling autonomous mental development. The robot model is based on an integrative vision of language in which linguistic abilities are strictly dependent on and grounded in other behaviors and skills. It uses simulated robots that learn through imitation the names of basic actions. Robots also learn higher order action concepts through the process of grounding transfer. The simulation demonstrates how new, higher order behavioral abilities can be autonomously built on previously grounded basic action categories following linguistic interaction with human users.