2007-06-14: The Emotion Machine

The Emotion Machine

Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind (2007)

by Marvin Minsky (1927)

This is a preliminary report, because the book is overdue. I first reported on a draft version of this book in 2004. At that time it didn’t have a subtitle. Now that it’s out, I thought I’d read it again. Unfortunately, I’ve already renewed it the limit, and will have to restart it later.

I’m on page 83. The pages I’ve marked are upper 47 and lower 63.

On page 47, Minsky shows his six-level model of mental activities:

  • Self-conscious emotions
  • Self-reflective thinking
  • Reflective thinking
  • Deliberative thinking
  • Learned reactions
  • Instinctive reactions

These are fed at the bottom by “Instinctive Behavioral Systems”, and moderated at the top by “Values, Censors, and Ideal”.

This will bear thinking about (deliberative thinking, I suppose).

On page 63, he introduces the notion of public imprimers, an idea that helps explain the influence of celebrities on public opinion.

More later


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