Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Marvin Minsky on Object - Dictionary of Arguments

I 199
Objects/properties/Artificial Intelligence/Minsky: It's usually impossible to perfectly define a word because you cannot capture everything you mean in just a phrase; an apple means a thousand things. However, you can usually say some of what you mean by making lists of properties.
Properties/Minsky: The most useful sets of properties are those whose members do not interact too much. This explains the universal popularity of that particular combination of properties: size, color, shape, and substance. Because these attributes scarcely interact at all with one another (…).
Orthogonality: you can imagine changing the color of a dress or its size, shape, or the fabric of which it's made, without altering any of its other properties.
Representation: However, that doesn't explain why such changes do not interact inside the mind. Why is it so easy to imagine a small brown wooden cube or a long red silk skirt? The simplest explanation is that we represent each of the properties of material, color, size and shape in separate agencies. >Software-Agents/Minsky.
I 204
Representation: How do we recognize our own ideas? At first, that must seem a strange question. But consider two different situations. In the first case, I hold up an apple and ask, What is this? We've already seen how such a sight could lead to activating polynemes for words like apple or fruit. In the second case, there is no apple on the scene, and I ask instead, What do we call those round, red, thin-peeled fruits? Yet this time, too, you end up with an apple thought. Isn't it remarkable that one can recognize a thing merely from hearing words? What is there in common to our recognizing things in two such different ways? The answer is that inside the brain, these situations really aren't so different. In neither case is there a real apple in the brain. In both cases, some part of mind must recognize what's happening in certain other parts of mind.
We usually need additional information about constraints and relationships among the parts of things — for example, to represent the knowledge that the wheels of a car must be mounted underneath its body. To discover how we might represent such things is becoming a major concern of modern research in both psychology and Artificial Intelligence. >Representation/Minsky.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Minsky I
Marvin Minsky
The Society of Mind New York 1985

Minsky II
Marvin Minsky
Semantic Information Processing Cambridge, MA 2003

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