Thursday, July 13, 2006

And our dear friend Marvin Minsky has been good to us today, we fervent fans of artificial intelligence: read a draft of his upcoming book, The Emotion Machine, here. This book focuses on what emotions are, exactly, and how such drastic changes in supposedly rational thought processes can exist (rational, hah!). It's quite excellent, to know that someone is still thinking, still working tirelessly, on the challenge of machine-consciousness. I hope it exists within his lifetime, I can't think of anyone who deserves it more. The book comes out on November 07, 2006. On the subject of machine learning, DARPA just gave BBNTech a grant to work on the "Integrated Learning Program," which would allow a computer to learn and understand processes after seeing them once. Pretty cool stuff.

"Could he, whose rules the rapid comet bind,

Describe or fix one movement of his mind?

Who saw its fires here rise, and there descend,

Explain his own beginning, or his end?"

--Alexander Pope


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