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The Emotion Machine
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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, 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 more 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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"Ingenious...stimulating...packed with quips, aphorisms and homely illustrations. A pleasure to read...It will make you think. And that's what brains are for."-- James W. Lance, "The New York Times Book Review (New York Times Book Review" Notable Book of the Year)

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