The Emperor's New Mind

Subtitle is: concerning computers, minds, and the laws of physics. By the former Oxford don Sir Roger Penrose.

Penrose is one of the greatest theoretical physicists of the twentieth century. This book came out in 1989 and I acquired it and read it not long after. It is due for a second read, something I aim to do in the next year or so.

The book is long, big, quite complex, and if you're not scientifically equipped to handle such thinking, difficult.

His main thesis is a powerful argument that minds are not just computers writ complex. Therefore the hope of the artificial intelligence advocates would be waylaid, as their attempts to think their way towards an ever more complex computer, via robotics, etc., will not result in a simulation of the human mind.

He takes us on a journey through some interesting mathematics, Turing machines, quantum theory, the lot, to demonstrate his case.

Worth a read if, like me, you find this sort of stuff fascinating.
61-65, M
1 Response Jun 1, 2012

Fascinating stuff and far too complex to be drawn into the mental gymnastics required to even scratch the surface of questions such as AI (artificial intelligence).<br />
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Perhaps a more rudimentary view could be taken? Could it be that the human brain is nothing more than a prehistoric but highly advanced biological super computer?<br />
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After all, its functions and recall are attributable to trillions upon trillions of impulses, visual stimuli, sound, senses all writing their code/data into a quantum sized memory bank come `biodrive`.<br />
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An interesting thought yet one that is flawed when considering the reality of Artificial Intelligence ... at what point in time or evolution did the human brain become self aware?<br />
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Apply the same criteria to AI; then at what point in time will the `artificial` become self aware and thus cease to be a clever functioning gadget to become an entity conscious of its own existence.