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Society Of Mind (A Touchstone book) Paperback – 15 Mar 1988
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For some artificial intelligence researchers, Minsky's book is too far removed from hard science to be useful. For others, the high-level approach of The Society of Mind makes it a gold mine of ideas waiting to be implemented. The author, one of the undisputed fathers of the discipline of AI, sets out to provide an abstract model of how the human mind really works. His thesis is that our minds consist of a huge aggregation of tiny mini-minds or agents that have evolved to perform highly specific tasks. Most of these agents lack the attributes we think of as intelligence and are severely limited in their ability to intercommunicate. Yet rational thought, feeling, and purposeful action result from the interaction of these basic components. Minsky's theory does not suggest a specific implementation for building intelligent machines. Still, this book may prove to be one of the most influential for the future of AI.
Issac Asimov Information Week 270 brilliantly original essays on...how the mind works.
Douglas Hofstadter author of Gödel, Escher, Bach and Metamagical Themas A stunning collage of staccato images, filled to the brim with witty insights and telling aphorisms.
The New York Times Book Review INGENIOUS...STIMULATING...crisp, packed with quips, aphorisms and homely illustrations. A pleasure to read...It will make you think. And that's what brains are for.
Michael Crichton author to The Andromeda Strain PROVOCATIVE, DELIGHTFUL, CHALLENGING, a rich, funny and altogether fascinating book.
Martin Gardner The Boston Sunday Globe SPARKLING WITH JOKES and apt quotations...and rich insights.
Gene Roddenberry creator of Star Trek A REMARKABLE BOOK....I am grateful that Marvin Minsky was my tour guide on this journey in the realms of my own consciousness.
San Jose Mercury News SCATTERED WITH GEMS....Liable to be influential far beyond the narrow researches of artificial intelligence.
Professor Guy Cellerier Genetic Artificial Intelligence and Epistemics Laboratory, University of Geneva A PROFOUND AND FASCINATING BOOK that lays down the foundations for the solution of one of the last great problems of modern science....Marks a new era.
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This is book is more than a decade old now but still one of the best one available. It is interesting to see how Minsky hops between Artificial Intelligence, Psychology and Spirituality (in a scientific sense, not a religious one). His ideas on what being "Self Aware" means make you pause and rethink if that is how you make decisions.
If you have the intellectual hunger to know more about your mind, this is a must read.
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And yet the book survives (is still in print) today. Addison-Wesley, however, is long "out of print."
Each page is its own discrete article. There are 270 of them. Minsky, in structuring his book this way, uses form to reinforce his ideas about function: The mind is not one big thing; rather it is a collection of small, independent agents, none of which possesses intelligence on its own, that - all working together - create The Society of Mind.
You have to understand that, for Minsky, explaining intelligence is meaningless if you cannot show a line of cookie crumbs leading from the "intelligent" behavior to a set of un-intelligent (A-B, HOT-COLD, etc.) set of processes that created it. Clearly, if you cannot do that, you have made a circular argument.