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The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind

The Emotion Machine Commonsense Thinking Artificial Intelligence and the Future of the Human Mind Our minds are working all the time but we rarely stop to think about how they work The human mind has many different ways to think says Marvin Minsky the leading figure in artificial intelligence a

  • Title: The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind
  • Author: Marvin Minsky
  • ISBN: 9780743276634
  • Page: 430
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Our minds are working all the time, but we rarely stop to think about how they work The human mind has many different ways to think, says Marvin Minsky, the leading figure in artificial intelligence and computer science We use these different ways of thinking in different circumstances, and some of them we don t even associate with thinking For example, emotions, intuitOur minds are working all the time, but we rarely stop to think about how they work The human mind has many different ways to think, says Marvin Minsky, the leading figure in artificial intelligence and computer science We use these different ways of thinking in different circumstances, and some of them we don t even associate with thinking For example, emotions, intuitions, and feelings are just other forms of thinking, according to Minsky In his groundbreaking new work, The Emotion Machine, Minsky shows why we should expand our ideas about thinking and how thinking itself might change in the future The Emotion Machine explains how our minds work, how they progress from simple kinds of thought to complex forms that enable us to reflect on ourselves what most people refer to as consciousness, or self awareness Unlike other broad theories of the mind, this book proceeds in a step by step fashion that draws on detailed and specific examples It shows that thinking even higher level thinking can be broken down into a series of specific actions From emotional states to goals and attachments and on to consciousness and awareness of self, we can understand the process of thinking in all its intricacy And once we understand thinking, we can build machines artificial intelligences that can assist with our thinking, machines that can follow the same thinking patterns that we follow and that can think as we do These humanlike thinking machines would also be emotion machines just as we are.This is a brilliant book that challenges many ideas about thinking and the mind It is as insightful and provocative as it is original, the fruit of a lifetime spentthinking about thinking.

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    1 thought on “The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind

    1. Oh Marvy. After the three chapters, I was ready to stop reading -- you simply weren't saying anything important. But then you whipped out a well-placed discussion and your take on the whole consciousness debate; it pulled me back in. Alas, you slipped again as you barely held on to me as I waded (and progressively sped up out of disinterest) through the next chapters.I get it, you're a computer scientist and attack the understanding of the brain as if it is hierarchically organized in the same ( [...]

    2. For certain books I find myself reading the reviews to see if my responses jibe with those of others, especially in terrain foreign to me, as AI is. I have been impressed with the reviews as mostly intelligent perspectives on the book and author. I was delighted to be in the hands of a clearly brilliant thinker, and was wowed by the breadth of his knowledge of a variety of disciplines and individual great minds, past and present. But I too found the book less than exciting and coherent, althoug [...]

    3. Not that Minsky isn't an intelligent guy, he just isn't on the right track. His model of the human brain is complete shit. In fact its an awful stretch to even call it a model of the human brain, because Minsky has never studied the brain. As far as I could tell he just sat around and thought about thinking and then he wrote a book about what he came up with. There are a lot of crazy models we could come up with just from introspection, only one is right, Its not this one. If you are trying to a [...]

    4. It took me a long time to finish The Emotion Machine. I read it on and off for almost two years, starting and finishing other books in between. Although some parts are remarkable, some other parts are boring as hell. The book attempts to provide a model for how humans think. Arguing that countless explainable processes are hidden behind many "suitcase-words" that we use everyday and we cannot explicitly explain them, such as consciousness and feelings, Minsky severely criticizes many theories de [...]

    5. I really wanted to like this book more, and it does have a number of fascinating ideas, but overall I found it rather incoherent and undirected, and ultimately unsatisfying. It was hard to make myself get through it all, and I can't point to any particular insight that will change the way I think about AI or intelligence in general. Minsky is a great thinker, but I'd give this book a pass.

    6. This is a book to set your mind on fire. Why we want what we want? We choose among the things we want, but can we choose *what* we want? Is there a self behind the wheel managing all of our often contradictory drives? The answer is as simple as surprising. This book is sort of a sequel to Society of Mind, which I'm yet to read.

    7. Very interesting and unique perspective from the pop-psychology slant. It examines how the mind uses different parts of the brain to work together, and how emotions are central to how the mind works. I love his quotations from Shakespeare.

    8. Read this book now three times.Notably, it's the only book I actually made remarks on the border. Amazingly, this book is able to inspire wild ideas every time. Always something to pick up in there.Two remarks:1. the style is not my preferred style, but this is a book I read because of it's message content, not the delivery2. When reading this book, be aware WHY wrote it and when (stage and experience in his life). Keep this in mind ALL the time!

    9. Interesting meta-theory about artificial intelligence as it applies to emotions and higher level and other cognitive functions. Complexity and greater granularity seems to be the way to fill the gaps in knowledge of the mind.

    10. So, how does one go about understanding how the human brain works? One way would be to introspect, to discuss it with others, to speculate, etc. The other would be to try to reverse engineer it. In a lot of ways, it turns out the best way to understand how anything works is to build one yourself, and this is (perhaps surprisingly) no less true of the human brain than with anything else.Fortunately, even if you fail, you learn a lot.Marvin Minsky is an MIT professor and researcher who has been tr [...]

    11. I started reading this book to know what Marvin Minsky's thoughts are about thinking machines and AI, especially how he thought a truly intelligent agent can be created. While in the middle of the book I realized that the ideas discussed in this book are helping me to understand myself, leave aside the creation of intelligent machines. This is not just an AI book, it also has a psychology and cognitive perspective to help understand how we naturally intelligent beings think and behave. There are [...]

    12. This author was recommended by the Godel, Escher, Bach - Douglas R HofstadterI was expecting like an extension of the book that quoted this, and I faced a book that on beginning wasn't surprising. As I continue the reading it becomes interesting because the language was very simple and in few chapters later the author could show his simplicity to explain his theories and how he is by far limited by barriers between scientific areas, he show a lot of point of views. He explores psychology as well [...]

    13. i am learning about what people talk about when they talk about their self."perhaps the most popular concept of what we are assumes that we each have a central core- some sort of invisible spirit or ghost that comes to us an an anonymous gift. however, a more realistic view would recognize that each human mind that exists today is one results of a process in which decillions of previous creatures on earth spent their lives reacting, adjusting, adapting, and dying so that some of their descendant [...]

    14. Well, I am still in the middle of the book, and I am kind of reserving judgment. Of course, as one of the leading figures of Artificial Intelligence research, Marvin Minsky comes at the whole question from a computational background and his existing theories of the mind as a collection of largely independent, though interrelated, subroutines or functions. For him, emotion seems to play a role in adjudicating and / or context switching between these multiple functions that all may be clamoring fo [...]

    15. Some parts were very good, and I'm generally glad I read it.The idea of viewing emotions as ways to think and the initial parts dealing with that are awesome.The critic-selector idea is kinda cool, but taken too far.The view of (the false dichotomy of) conscious and unconscious parts of our minds is also quite nice.There are also many nice gems of insight scattered through the book, as Minsky just gets many things that are often missed :-DAlas, the discussion of "the Self" and conscious "experie [...]

    16. This is not a book for everyone, but if you're an AI/cognitive science geek, it's worth checking out. It lies in a kind of no-man's land between popular science and a real technical treatise. There is a lot of good detailed content, but not nearly as much as I wanted. On the other hand, Minsky isn't really a great popular writer (I'm currently reading Kevin Kelly's "Out of Control" which is an excellent instance of popular science, as are most of Brian Greene's books). The title was also a bit d [...]

    17. Professor Minsky's depiction of human emotions as "ways to think" is instructive and interesting, but does not fulfill one's natural intuition about processes of thinking and feeling. Emotions are not exclusive to humans; even my feral pet cat Lucy (about whom I've written briefly in 'Humbling and Humility'), without the thought-capacity of an expanded pre-frontal cortex, manifests and communicates all sorts of emotions including displeasure when I do not open my front door soon enough for her. [...]

    18. Being part of a project proposal at the moment has sent me down the road of looking at what the Japanese are doing with robots and somehow this got me here.I'm guessing it all would have been awfully useful to look at a couple of months ago. Notes:The Japanese see no sense of difference between themselves and everything around them.The Japanese see no sense of separateness in the way we do between body and mind.These two ideas might help come up with different ways of approaching the problem at [...]

    19. "Interesting"It's fun learning about how our brains work and how "thinking" and "emotion" function; it's more fascinating to look at this from an engineering and artificial intelligence point of view. In "The Emotion Machine", you will be exposed to an interesting theory of how our the different functioning of our brain can be considered as distribution of resources. The idea is easy to comprehend, though at times it did feel a bit repetitive and the presentation of information somewhat disperse [...]

    20. Only parts of this book were interesting. He activates his M.I.Tss about halfway through and it got very boring, too much detail about artificial intelligence robots.However, this book inspired my project, "The Way You Think" map from senior portfolio.

    21. Deep thinking Minsky lays out a cogent description of the human mind that doesn't actually work with so-called emotions. His premise is that what we call an emotion is actually just another Way to Think.Teachers, scholars, and parents will find this a valuable read.

    22. I start some "serious" reading for Xmas holidays. The book has to be EXCELLENT because on page eleven it already quotes Richard Feynman. Well Minsky is teacher @MIT and an authority in intelligence (including artificial one), but all that is secondary. :-)

    23. AI book that takes an extremely high level approach. Minksy advocates the use of the multiple systems and a selection criteria system when bulding AI systems. Didn't particularily like the writing style and not immediately useful unless working on AI projects.

    24. Full of interesting information reducing the mind and emotions to mere machinery. Or at least an extensive attempt to do so. It is a rather boring read, but still opened my eyes to seeing the mind in a new light.

    25. One of the geniuses behind modern artificial intelligence offers a very watered down, but still interesting view into neuroscience and processing of the human mind. Good for now, but I'd like to review one of his more technical works soon.

    26. While I appreciated the repeatedly applied insight of digging into words that are too broad like "consciousness" to get better ideas about their nature, it mostly just felt like reading a lot of personal speculation.

    27. This book was very complex. It has been a while since I have read it. I really enjoyed the complexity and the intelligence in this book.

    28. I was really surprise not to like this book, maybe it was too hard for me to understand what he is talking about, no sure.

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