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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.
Minsky, cofounder of MIT's Artificial Intelligence Lab, is a charter member of the community of AI pioneers committed to understanding the workings of the human mind and mimicking its processes by computer. Here he takes his place as this generation's Buckminster Fullera revered seminal thinker whose depth and originality sometimes place him out of reach for many. But Minsky's difference is his style: he writes aphoristically, with wit and precision, and makes the most of his perception that the mind learns by images, which perform as agents that connect, interact and even "censor" in a staggeringly subtle "society" of microprocedures. This holistic view of the mind's learning stages is the culmination of Minsky's study, and its insights into the developing world of computers-as-machines are matched by paradoxically intuitive glimpses of the growth of a sense of "self" through introspection, short- and long-term memory, mind-frames utilizing pictures and language. Minsky's creative terminology for freshly perceived mental processes is a major contribution to the future of mind-science. Illustrated. Major ad/promo; Macmillan Book Club alternate.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Before one can understand artificial intelligence one must understand the real thing.
This book has lots of fin diagrams as it explained the complexities of what is not... Read more
I've never read anything as brilliant as this book. It's easy to read and couldn't put it downPublished on Dec 5 2004 by Jean Legros
Marvin Minsky are great scientist, but he and the crowd are mistaken.
Intelligence can't be artificial. Only system could. Read more
like Darwin's epiphany- Minsky's genius has revealed an idea that once understood- it is almost unquestionable- and makes you shout "Of course! Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2004 by T. Aubuchon
I work in virtual human technology and Minsky has long been an inspiration. I can't just sit down and read this stuff through, I have to think about it in chunks. Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2003 by Quinbould
Minsky can't claim he knows how the mind works. However, he can claim he knows how to make mind-like things; as one of the persons turning dirt into a thinking machine on your... Read morePublished on Oct. 14 2002 by Brandon E. Wolfe
I think this book is the closest and encomassing theory about the workings of the mind, as compared to other theories like neural network, expert systems in the field of AI. Read morePublished on March 28 2002 by Naveed Ahmad
Minsky's book isn't terribly profound or monumental. Most of his claims are purely his own philosophies, without much scientific backing. Read morePublished on Nov. 28 2001 by Andrew Fischer