The full text of this speech published in the Transhumanist Reader can be found here:
I would like to have this as the topic of a reading group because Prof. Minsky covers some great ideas related to understanding and using multiple representations to solve problems. The last sentence is funny: “I think I’ve over-talked, but I’ll be glad to start a fight with anyone who wants to.” Reminds me of something straight out of Hermann Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game. I wonder why he thinks that being agnostic is a mental illness. His speech structure has been paraphrased in parts, I’m sure but this does strike me as a roughly verbatim translation of his larger speech patterns. Paragraph length concepts are structured into ideas that are multiple paragraph length essays each. Here are a few reading questions that we may want to discuss:
- What are three Extropian goals that Prof. Minsky mentions?
- Why does Prof. Minsky believe that Freud was a good AI researcher from 1895–1905?
- What are three types of problems that Prof. Minsky mentions that he thinks automated commonsense reasoning would be useful for automatically solving?
- What is Prof. Minsky’s definition of Carl Pribram’s “Project for Scientific Psychology”?
- What is Prof. Minsky’s argument against Searle’s “Chinese Room” argument?
- What is Prof. Minsky’s argument against Penrose’s argument against an AI being called “conscious”?
- Why does Prof. Minsky describe Rod Brooks’ robot COG as a “hoax”?
- What is one type of intelligence that Prof. Minsky mentions that Doug Lenat’s program, AM (Automatic Mathematician), demonstrated?
- What is Prof. Minsky’s definition of “The Sparseness Hypothesis”?
- What is Prof. Minsky’s like and dislike of Bart Kosko’s speaking style that Prof. Minsky describes as “a whole lecture per sentence”?
- What is an example long range planning problem that Prof. Minsky mentions could be solved by Roger Shank’s approach to long range planning?
- What is an example of a problem that Prof. Minsky mentions that could be solved by using multiple representations? What types of knowledge does he mention that each of those representations would contain?
- What is Prof. Minsky’s definition of “consciousness”?
- What is Prof. Minsky’s definition of “understanding”?
Author: Bo Morgan
Bo currently works at Apple as an Artificial Intelligence Project Lead. Bo worked previously as Artificial Intelligence Technology Lead for DreamWorks Animation, focused on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Artificial Intelligence (AI) models of cognition. Bo has worked previously as Chief Technology Officer of AIBrain, Inc., a local Palo Alto AI startup company, managing and developing cognitive conversational smartphone robot toys for children that exercise SEL development. While at AIBrain, Bo worked closely with University of California San Francisco (UCSF) medical and educational neuroscientists designing and implementing fMRI experiments for measuring the performance of SEL cognitive development. Bo received his PhD from the MIT Media Lab, where he studied AI under Marvin Minsky. Bo also received an MS in Media Arts and Sciences and a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.