Skye Bougsty-Marshall · AGI-20
The Dynamics of Growing Symbols: A Ludics Approach to Language Design by Autonomous Agents
Even with the relative ascendancy of sub-symbolic approaches to AI, the symbol grounding problem presents an ongoing challenge to work in artificial general intelligence. Prevailing ontology design practices typically presuppose the transparency of the relation between semantics and syntax by transcendently stipulating it extrinsic to the system, rather than providing a platform for the internal development of this relation through agents’ interactions endogenous to the system. Drawing on theoretical resources from ecological psychology, dynamical systems theory, and interactive computation, this work suggests an inversion of the symbol grounding problem in order to analyze how the symbolic regime can emerge out of causally embedded dynamical interactions within a system of autonomous intelligent agents. Under this view, syntactic-symbols come to be stabilized from other signs as constraints harnessing the dynamics of agents’ inter-actions, where the functional effects generated by such constrained dynamics give rise to an internal characterization of semantics broadly aligned with Brandom’s semantic pragmatism. Finally, ludics—a protological framework based on interactive computation—provides a formal model to concretely describe this continuity between syntax and semantics arising within and through the regulative dynamics of interactions in a multi-agent system. Accordingly, this bottom-up approach to grounding the symbolic order in dynamics could provide the conditions for artificial agents to engage in autonomous language design, thus equipping themselves with a powerful cognitive technology for intersubjective coordination and (re)structuring ontologies within a community of agents.