Commonsense thinking, artificial intelligence, and the future of the human mind

I am reading a book by Marvin Minsky called The Emotion Machine.

I feel it applies to my work as a therapist and recommend it to anyone interested in the mind and its workings.

Machine is a bit of a misnomer as it tends to imply power and efficiency rather than flexibility and flow. I like this quote from the introduction:

If you “understand” something in only one way, then you scarcely understand it at all- because when you get stuck, you’ll have nowhere to go. But if you represent something in several ways, then when you get frustrated enough, you can switch among different points of view, until you find one that works for you!

He goes on about human dignity:

I see our dignity as stemming from what we have made of ourselves: a colossal collection of different ways to deal with different situations and predicaments. It is that diversity that distinguishes us from most of the other animals – and from all the machines we’ve built in the past…

Visit Marvin Minsky at  

Dignity in diversity that we each build together… that effort and the opportunity to make it is something to be grateful for and a real source of hope.


2 Responses to “Commonsense thinking, artificial intelligence, and the future of the human mind”

  1. probiotic food Says:

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  2. diddly Says:

    Reblogged this on Wim Chase and commented:

    Marvin Minsky died this week. This is a blog post from 2011 that discuss his ideas.


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