Language in a (Search) Box: Grounding Language Learning in Real-World Human-Machine Interaction


We investigate grounded language learning through real-world data, by modelling a teacher-learner dynamics through the natural interactions occurring between users and search engines; in particular, we explore the emergence of semantic generalization from unsupervised dense representations outside of synthetic environments. A grounding domain, a denotation function and a composition function are learned from user data only. We show how the resulting semantics for noun phrases exhibits compositional properties while being fully learnable without any explicit labelling. We benchmark our grounded semantics on compositionality and zero-shot inference tasks, and we show that it provides higher accuracy and better generalizations than SOTA non-grounded models, such as word2vec and BERT.

In Proceedings of The North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics