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.
Despite being 30 years old now, this book was an engaging read that doesn't seem to be very far off from what the state-of-the-art thinking in neuroscience/artificial intelligence... Read morePublished 4 months ago by robobarr
Before one can understand artificial intelligence one should understand the real thing.
This book has lots of fin diagrams as it explained the complexities of what is... Read more
Should be in every library, public, private and personal.
After you've read it 100 times, you will agree, no matter what you think now.
"Society of Mind" is what Marvin Minsky calls the apparatus created from the myriad (and myriad tiered) sets of robotic yes-no hot-cold now-later kinds of decisions that... Read morePublished 18 months ago by John Szabo
As someone who just wanted to get a general idea of the foundations of AI, it was great. Very accessiblePublished on August 13, 2013
If you are a scholar on information sciences or psychology then this is a must read. For those curious about thought processes then this offers food for thought if you have a few... Read morePublished on July 22, 2013 by J. Reuter
Minsky is the first person to really layout clearly that it is possible to develop a synthetic intelligence. Read morePublished on May 22, 2013 by Tom K.