Fluid Concepts And Creative Analogies: Computer Models Of The Fundamental Mechanisms Of Thought Paperback – 22 Mar 1996
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About the Author
Douglas R. Hofstadter is College Professor of Cognitive Science and Computer Science at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. His previous books are the Pulitzer Prizewinning Gödel, Escher, Bach Metamagical Themas, The Mind's I, Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies, Le Ton Beau de Marot, and Eugene Onegin.
Top customer reviews
Most chapters correspond to a program him and his colleagues have written, but some chapters are essays exploring attitudes and approaches to AI. The chapters describing programs are interesting enough, but can be long winded and in the end the programs seem to be more an expression of his philosophy than a practical tool of intelligence - he admits this himself; stating his belief that AI research needs to focus more on the methods than the results at this stage.
Like GEB, this book has a unique ability to completely reshape your perceptions of the world. Chapter 4 - "High-level Perception, Representation, and Analogy: A Critique of Artificial-intelligence Methodology" was the crux of this book. If nothing else, then the book is worth buying for this chapter - it manages to summarise and explain the mind bending interactions between high and low level perception in the human mind with amazing clarity.
4 stars because Hofstadter's strengths lie in philosophy, wordplay and communication more than practical tool making. This book is an attempt to describe how the ideas of GEB can be turned into practical software, but instead its best sections are those focusing heavily on philosophy.
Very interesting theories and concepts, his explanations are on point!!!
Had he and his artificial intelligence team made a breakthrough comprehensible to lay people like me, it would have been broadcast on page 1.
The book is basically a synopsis of how the team's anagram and number sequence programs were engineered, and the detail is remorseless. In terms of addressing how the mind works, the explanatory power of this work is practically negligible.
When the artificial intelligence community can guess at how, mechanically, an individual forms aesthetic judgments or comprehends jokes, they might start to hold people's attention.
A laborious account of how computers mimic the cerebration of a typical "Countdown" contestant is, in my opinion, calculated to lose the interest of non-AI specialists very quickly indeed.
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