The Mechanical Mind in History

Cover Image Copyright Year: 2008
Author(s): Phil Husbands; Owen Holland; Michael Wheeler
Book Type: MIT Press
Content Type : Books & eBooks
Topics: Robotics & Control Systems
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Abstract

The idea of intelligent machines has become part of popular culture. But tracing the history of the actual science of machine intelligence reveals a rich network of cross-disciplinary contributions--the unrecognized origins of ideas now central to artificial intelligence, artificial life, cognitive science, and neuroscience. In The Mechanization of Mind in History, scientists, artists, historians, and philosophers discuss the multidisciplinary quest to formalize and understand the generation of intelligent behavior in natural and artificial systems as a wholly mechanical process. The contributions illustrate the diverse and interacting notions that chart the evolution of the idea of the mechanical mind. They describe the mechanized mind as, among other things, an analogue system, an organized suite of chemical interactions, a self-organizing electromechanical device, an automated general-purpose information processor, and an integrated collection of symbol manipulating mechanisms. They investigate the views of pivotal figures that range from Descartes and Heidegger to Alan Turing and Charles Babbage, and they emphasize such frequently overlooked areas as British cybernetic and pre-cybernetic thinkers. The volume concludes with the personal insights of five highly influential figures in the field: John Maynard Smith, John Holland, Oliver Selfridge, Horace Barlow, and Jack Cowan.Philip Husbands is Professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence in the Department of Informatics at the University of Sussex and Codirector of the Sussex Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics. Owen Holland is Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Essex. Michael Wheeler is Reader in Philosophy at the University of Stirling. He is the author o f Reconstructing the Cognitive World: The Next Step (MIT Press, 2005).ContributorsPeter Asaro, Horace Barlow, Andy Beckett, Margaret Boden, Jon Bird, Paul Brown, Seth Bullock, Roberto Cordeschi, Jack Cowan, Ezequiel Di Paolo, Hubert Dreyfus, Andrew Hodges, Owen Holland, Jana Horï¿¿ï¿¿kovï¿¿ï¿¿, Philip Husbands, Jozef Kelemen, John Maynard Smith, Donald Michie, Oliver Selfridge, Michael Wheeler

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      Front Matter

      Page(s): i - ix
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Half Title, Title, Copyright, Contents, Preface, The Mechanical Mind in History View full abstract»

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      Introduction: The Mechanical Mind

      Page(s): 1 - 17
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains section titled: References View full abstract»

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      Charles Babbage and the Emergence of Automated Reason

      Page(s): 19 - 39
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise, Automating Reason, Conclusion, Acknowledgments, Note, References View full abstract»

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      3 D'Arcy Thompson: A Grandfather of A-Life

      Page(s): 19 - 60
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Who Was D'Arcy Thompson?, Biomimetics: Artefacts, but Not A-Life, First Steps in Mathematical Biology, Goethe's Morphology, From Morphology to Mathematics, More Admiration than Influence, Echoes in A-Life, Difficulties of Description, And What Came Next?, Notes, References View full abstract»

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      Alan Turing's Mind Machines

      Page(s): 61 - 74
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: General Computations, Brute-Force Computation, The Bletchley Machines, Enter a Mega Monster, Broader Horizons, Note, References, Editors' Note View full abstract»

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      What Did Alan Turing Mean by “Machine”?

      Page(s): 75 - 90
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Machines and Intelligence, The Turing Machine and Church's Thesis, Turing's Practical Machines: The Wartime Impetus, Turing's 1948 Report: Physical Machines, Continuity and Randomness, Imitation Game: Logical and Physical, Quantum Mechanics at Last, The Church-Turing Thesis, Then and Now, Conclusion, Note, References View full abstract»

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      The Ratio Club: A Hub of British Cybernetics

      Page(s): 91 - 148
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Members, Genesis of the Club, The Way Forward, Club Meetings, Themes, Interdisciplinarity, The Legacy of the Club, Acknowledgments, References View full abstract»

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      From Mechanisms of Adaptation to Intelligence Amplifiers: The Philosophy of W. Ross Ashby

      Page(s): 149 - 184
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Mechanism of Adaptation, Designs for Intelligence, Conclusion, Notes, References View full abstract»

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      Gordon Pask and His Maverick Machines

      Page(s): 185 - 211
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: School and University, Stationary and Nonstationary Systems, Musicolour, SAKI, Pask as an Independent Cybernetic Researcher, The Value of Gordon Pask, Acknowledgments, Notes, References View full abstract»

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      Santiago Dreaming

      Page(s): 213 - 217
      Copyright Year: 2008

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      This chapter contains sections titled: Notes, References View full abstract»

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      Steps Toward the Synthetic Method: Symbolic Information Processing and Self-Organizing Systems in Early Artificial Intelligence Modeling

      Page(s): 219 - 258
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Process Theories, Computer Metaphor and Symbolic Model, Psychology from Natural Science to a “Science of the Artificial”, To Conclude, and to Continue, References View full abstract»

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      The Mechanization of Art

      Page(s): 259 - 281
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Acknowledgments, Notes View full abstract»

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      The Robot Story: Why Robots Were Born and How They Grew Up

      Page(s): 283 - 306
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Robot's Parents, The Pedigree, The Conception, The Plot, Antecedents, The Newborn, The Fates, The Presence (of Cyborgs), Acknowledgments, Notes, References View full abstract»

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      God's Machines: Descartes on the Mechanization of Mind

      Page(s): 307 - 330
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Never Underestimate Descartes, Cartesian Machines, The Limits of the Machine, Mechanics and Magic, Plastic Machines, Concluding Remarks, Notes, References View full abstract»

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      Why Heideggerian AI Failed and How Fixing It Would Require Making It More Heideggerian

      Page(s): 331 - 371
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Convergence of Computers and Philosophy, Symbolic AI as a Degenerating Research Program, Heideggerian AI, Stage 1: Eliminating Representations by Building Behavior-Based Robots, Heideggerian AI, Stage 2: Programming the Ready-to-Hand, Pseudo-Heideggerian AI: Embedded, Embodied, Extended Mind, What Motivates Embedded/Embodied Coping?, Modeling Situated Coping as a Dynamical System, Walter Freeman's Merleau-Pontian Neurodynamics, How Heideggerian AI Would Dissolve Rather Than Avoid or Solve the Frame Problem, Conclusion, Notes View full abstract»

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      An Interview with John Maynard Smith

      Page(s): 372 - 380
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Acknowledgments, Notes View full abstract»

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      An Interview with John Holland

      Page(s): 382 - 395
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains section titled: Notes View full abstract»

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      An Interview with Oliver Selfridge

      Page(s): 396 - 407
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains section titled: Notes View full abstract»

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      An Interview with Horace Barlow

      Page(s): 408 - 429
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

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      An Interview with Jack Cowan

      Page(s): 430 - 446
      Copyright Year: 2008

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      About the Contributors

      Page(s): 447 - 448
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      The idea of intelligent machines has become part of popular culture. But tracing the history of the actual science of machine intelligence reveals a rich network of cross-disciplinary contributions--the unrecognized origins of ideas now central to artificial intelligence, artificial life, cognitive science, and neuroscience. In The Mechanization of Mind in History, scientists, artists, historians, and philosophers discuss the multidisciplinary quest to formalize and understand the generation of intelligent behavior in natural and artificial systems as a wholly mechanical process. The contributions illustrate the diverse and interacting notions that chart the evolution of the idea of the mechanical mind. They describe the mechanized mind as, among other things, an analogue system, an organized suite of chemical interactions, a self-organizing electromechanical device, an automated general-purpose information processor, and an integrated collection of symbol manipulating mechanisms. They investigate the views of pivotal figures that range from Descartes and Heidegger to Alan Turing and Charles Babbage, and they emphasize such frequently overlooked areas as British cybernetic and pre-cybernetic thinkers. The volume concludes with the personal insights of five highly influential figures in the field: John Maynard Smith, John Holland, Oliver Selfridge, Horace Barlow, and Jack Cowan.Philip Husbands is Professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence in the Department of Informatics at the University of Sussex and Codirector of the Sussex Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics. Owen Holland is Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Essex. Michael Wheeler is Reader in Philosophy at the University of Stirling. He is the author o f Reconstructing the Cognitive World: The Next Step (MIT Press, 2005).ContributorsPeter Asaro, Horace Barlow, Andy Beckett, Margaret Boden, Jon Bird, Paul Brown, Seth Bullock, Roberto Cordeschi, Jack Cowan, Ezequiel Di Paolo, Hubert Dreyfus, Andrew Hodges, Owen Holland, Jana Horï¿¿ï¿¿kovï¿¿ï¿¿, Philip Husbands, Jozef Kelemen, John Maynard Smith, Donald Michie, Oliver Selfridge, Michael Wheeler View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Index

      Page(s): 449 - 458
      Copyright Year: 2008

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      The idea of intelligent machines has become part of popular culture. But tracing the history of the actual science of machine intelligence reveals a rich network of cross-disciplinary contributions--the unrecognized origins of ideas now central to artificial intelligence, artificial life, cognitive science, and neuroscience. In The Mechanization of Mind in History, scientists, artists, historians, and philosophers discuss the multidisciplinary quest to formalize and understand the generation of intelligent behavior in natural and artificial systems as a wholly mechanical process. The contributions illustrate the diverse and interacting notions that chart the evolution of the idea of the mechanical mind. They describe the mechanized mind as, among other things, an analogue system, an organized suite of chemical interactions, a self-organizing electromechanical device, an automated general-purpose information processor, and an integrated collection of symbol manipulating mechanisms. They investigate the views of pivotal figures that range from Descartes and Heidegger to Alan Turing and Charles Babbage, and they emphasize such frequently overlooked areas as British cybernetic and pre-cybernetic thinkers. The volume concludes with the personal insights of five highly influential figures in the field: John Maynard Smith, John Holland, Oliver Selfridge, Horace Barlow, and Jack Cowan.Philip Husbands is Professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence in the Department of Informatics at the University of Sussex and Codirector of the Sussex Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics. Owen Holland is Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Essex. Michael Wheeler is Reader in Philosophy at the University of Stirling. He is the author o f Reconstructing the Cognitive World: The Next Step (MIT Press, 2005).ContributorsPeter Asaro, Horace Barlow, Andy Beckett, Margaret Boden, Jon Bird, Paul Brown, Seth Bullock, Roberto Cordeschi, Jack Cowan, Ezequiel Di Paolo, Hubert Dreyfus, Andrew Hodges, Owen Holland, Jana Horï¿¿ï¿¿kovï¿¿ï¿¿, Philip Husbands, Jozef Kelemen, John Maynard Smith, Donald Michie, Oliver Selfridge, Michael Wheeler View full abstract»