Semantic features of object concepts generated with GPT-3 [article]

Hannes Hansen, Martin N. Hebart
2022 arXiv   pre-print
Semantic features have been playing a central role in investigating the nature of our conceptual representations. Yet the enormous time and effort required to empirically sample and norm features from human raters has restricted their use to a limited set of manually curated concepts. Given recent promising developments with transformer-based language models, here we asked whether it was possible to use such models to automatically generate meaningful lists of properties for arbitrary object
more » ... cepts and whether these models would produce features similar to those found in humans. To this end, we probed a GPT-3 model to generate semantic features for 1,854 objects and compared automatically-generated features to existing human feature norms. GPT-3 generated many more features than humans, yet showed a similar distribution in the types of generated features. Generated feature norms rivaled human norms in predicting similarity, relatedness, and category membership, while variance partitioning demonstrated that these predictions were driven by similar variance in humans and GPT-3. Together, these results highlight the potential of large language models to capture important facets of human knowledge and yield a new approach for automatically generating interpretable feature sets, thus drastically expanding the potential use of semantic features in psychological and linguistic studies.
arXiv:2202.03753v2 fatcat:q2x25gojavcfvjmabbnqpmc4ty