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VWN Product Reviews: Artificial Minds

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Franklin's tour of contemporary thought on human, animal, and artificial minds introduces creative theories, models, and prototypes of artificial intelligence. After citing the scoffers' arguments regarding the improbability of fashioning artificial minds, Franklin examines some systems that do, in fact, exhibit aspects of intelligence.

Next is a debate on the potential usefulness of symbolic AI computer models of cognition versus the connectionism brain model of intelligence. Examples of both models are presented; for instance, SOAR, a symbolic AI program, is claimed to be an architecture for general intelligence.

Franklin also explores the multiplicity views of mind, including the pandemonium model, behavior networks, subsumption architecture, and autonomous agents, and he introduces Animat, an artificial life model of simple animals. The final debate is an airing of the views of those workers who dispute the importance of internal representation. Franklin is an entertaining writer and is uncommonly adept at elucidating scientific concepts.

 

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