Just keeping notes…

I was looking for photos on Flickr that interest me, and I found a photo of a book cover. It was called “The Emotion Machine” by Marvin Minsky. If I ever get the time to read again, I definitely want to track down a copy of that one. The description of the book has convinced me that I’ll be fascinated by the whole thing and never want to put it down.

In this mind-expanding book, scientific pioneer Marvin Minsky continues his groundbreaking research, offering a fascinating new model for how our minds work. He argues persuasively that emotions, intuitions, and feelings are not distinct things, but different ways of thinking.
By examining these different forms of mind activity, Minsky says, we can explain why our thought sometimes takes the form of carefully reasoned analysis and at other times turns to emotion. He shows how our minds progress from simple, instinctive kinds of thought to more complex forms, such as consciousness or self-awareness. And he argues that because we tend to see our thinking as fragmented, we fail to appreciate what powerful thinkers we really are. Indeed, says Minsky, if thinking can be understood as the step-by-step process that it is, then we can build machines — artificial intelligences — that not only can assist with our thinking by thinking as we do but have the potential to be as conscious as we are.

I just can’t stop thinking about just the ideas presented in that short summary. I’d look at the local library, but unfortunately the computer science section is limited to various Dummies guides for people who can’t figure out/want to know EVERY LITTLE THING about random software. And I did a catalog search for books on artificial intelligence. Nothing. Pshhh.
(So basically this whole thing was a blog-to-self to see if I can find a cheap copy online later.)

2 Responses to “Just keeping notes…”

  1. Damian Allen says:

    This is something that also interests me. The brain is such a complex machine that it can redesign itself and reorganize itself if damaged, as well as use emotion and intuition to return results in cases where it is not possible to consider all the data in time.

    The book I got for my mother’s birthday was on a similar topic, called “Proust and the Squid.”
    Let me know if you get that book, I’d like to hear what you think of it.

  2. Sam says:

    I did find a good preview of it on Google Books. They omitted a few sections, but I feel like I got a feeling for what the book would be like; it was very interesting. I’ll have to read a bit more about the book you mentioned.