Incoming links
from Notes on Daybreak
  • OK, very Society of Mind here. I like the scare-quotes...and the struggle...not sure what he means by "our intellect is going to have to take sides", is not our intellect composed of all of these struggling and vehement drives?
from Marvin Minsky
from VTR on Society of Mind
from Agency at the Media Lab
  • Or it could be that I just focused on the wrong aspect – I got hung up on the word "agent" and agency, and as you can see I'm still hung up three decades later. In The Emotion Machine, a sequel to Society of Mind, Minsky abandoned the word "agent" for the components of his mental theory, substituting "resource":

Society of Mind

11 Apr 2021 01:23 - 04 Sep 2021 03:39

    • The original Society of Mind formulation was very agentic, to the point where parts of the mind wer conceived of as sub-selves engaging in conversation with each other:
    • The mind is a community of “agents”. Each has limited powers and can communicate only with certain others. The powers of mind emerge from their interactions for none of the Agents, by itself, has significant intelligence. [. . . ] Everyone knows what it feels like to be engaged in a conversation with oneself. In this book, we will develop the idea that these discussions really happen, and that the participants really “exist”. In our picture of the mind we will imagine many “sub-persons”, or “internal agents”, interacting with one another. Solving the simplest problem – seeing a picture – or remembering the experience of seeing it – might involve a dozen or more – perhaps very many more – of these agents playing different roles. Some of them bear useful knowledge, some of them bear strategies for dealing with other agents, some of them carry warnings or encouragements about how the work of others is proceding. And some of them are concerned with discipline, prohibiting or “censoring” others from thinking forbidden thoughts.
    • In later days, presumably in attempts to make it seem more like an implementable theory, the agentic language was toned down, and in The Emotion Machine, Minsky's follow-up to The Society of Mind, he explicitly disavows such talk:
    • Note: This book uses the term "resource" where my earlier book, The Society of Mind, used "agent. "I made this change because too many readers assumed that an "agent" is a personlike thing (like a travel agent) that could operate independently, or cooperate with others in much the same ways that people do.