Commentary Magazine

Article Preview

How the Mind Works

- Abstract

About eleven years ago I happened to sit down for breakfast with Marvin Minsky and his wife, the pediatrician Gloria Rudisch. Having just begun to develop an interest in cognitive science, I knew Minsky by name as one of the fathers of artificial intelligence (or, as it is often abbreviated, AI). Thanks in part to the camaraderie between AI researchers and science-fiction writers, the phrase “artificial intelligence” still conjures up images of scientists building superhuman robots and computers that will render mere mortal thinkers obsolete. The reality, for the moment, is quite otherwise: AI researchers spend much of their time trying to figure out how human thought works, in order to write computer programs that can simulate it.

About the Author