Muse in the Machine

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9780029116029: Muse in the Machine

Can we introduce emotion into the computer? David Gelernter, one of the leading lights in artificial intelligence today, begins "The Muse in the Machine" with this provocative question. In providing an answer, he not only points to a future revolution in computers but radically changes our views of the human mind itself. Bringing together insights from computer science, cognitive psychology, philosophy of mind, and literary theory, David Gelernter presents what is sure to be a much debated view of how humans have thought, how we think today, and how computers will learn to think in the future.

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Review:

When most of us think of Artificial Intelligence, we separate the notion of emotion from our imaginings. And portrayals of the likely consequences of emotions in computers invariably suggest that there would be a systemic breakdown in the computer's functionality. For example, it is the childish emotionalism of HAL in 2001 that wreaked havoc, not its superhuman intellectual capacity.

Gelertner, esteemed CS professor of AI at Yale University, has written a fascinating book on why it may be absolutely necessary to create emotionality if there is to be true Artificial Intelligence. My father used to say, "If there's Artificial Intelligence, there's bound to be artificial stupidity"; Gelertner would say, "without artificial emotionalism, there cannot be Artificial Intelligence."

About the Author:

David Gelernter is the author of eight books and a professor of computer science at Yale University. His 1991 work, Mirror Worlds, not only "foresaw" (Reuters) the World Wide Web but is considered "one of the most influential books in computer science" (Technology Review). Gelernter's research has proved important to several leading Web-search efforts and has also been instrumental in the development of the Java programming language and the first modern social networks, as well as predicting the rise of blogs and activity streams such as Facebook and Twitter.

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