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”?