virus: "Society of Mind" under AI

War (
Sun, 10 Dec 1995 02:37:39 -0800

I have not read the book but have heard the author's talk
based on it. It's written by Marvin Minsky, longtime
leader in AI research, and considers the questions of
consciousness and intelligence as requiring cooperative
action between simpler modules such as neurons and
synapses. He also focusses (as he has in much of his other
work) on the question of what is "common sense" -- the
intuitive understandings which allow people to survive in
the world and famously distinguish human reasoning from
that of computers. Minsky's answer is that common sense is
in fact the sum of thousands upon thousands of small facts
which are accumulated through experience; no a priori
reasoning process can provide it from scratch.