I discovered through a New Scientist magazine article (thanks to Clare) that Marvin Minsky, a.k.a. “The Father of Artificial Intelligence,” has published The Emotion Machine, the sequel to his 1988 masterpiece, The Society of Mind.
In Society of Mind, Minsky proposed that complex human intelligence arises from layered interactions between simple “agents,” which themselves are mindless. There’s enough potential buried in each page of Society of Mind to inspire a graduate-level thesis.
In The Emotion Machine, Minsky continues by proposing a “Critic-Selector model of mind” where emotions impact the resources used by the mind to address problems. Some draft chapters of The Emotion Machine are available on Dr Minsky’s MIT website.
When I went to order The Emotion Machine online, Amazon disappointed me by not having a copy in stock in the UK. But then it helpfully informed me that one of my other cognitive science heros, Douglas Hofstadter, has also published a new book!
Hofstadter’s Godel, Escher, Bach is a Pulitzer Prize-winning “metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll.” The book is a beautiful creation that tackles the phenomenon of consciousness. Read what Wikipedia has to say about it.
I Am A Strange Loop is Hofstadter’s new book, and its title will resonate with GEB fans, as Hofstadter explains consciousness and self-awareness with a model that uses self-referential “loops.” I can’t wait for my copy to arrive.
The fact it has taken me this long to discover these books shows just how far out of the loop – the strange loop – I’ve become.