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Marvin Minsky on Personality Traits - Dictionary of Arguments

Minsky I 53
Personality traits/artificial intelligence/AI/Minsky: Why should traits like [aggression, defensiveness, smartness] exist? How could it be that a system assembled from a million agencies can be described by short and simple strings of words? Here are some possible reasons.
Selectivity: First we should face the fact that our images of other minds are often falsely clear. We tend to think of another person's personality in terms of that which we can describe — and tend to set aside the rest as though it simply weren't there.
Predictability: Because it is hard to maintain friendship without trust, we try to conform to the expectations of our friends. Then, to the extent that we frame our images of our associates in terms of traits, we find ourselves teaching ourselves to behave in accord with those same descriptions.
Style: To escape the effort of making decisions we consider unimportant, we tend to develop policies that become so systematic that they can be discerned from the outside and characterized as personal traits.
Self-Reliance: Thus, over time, imagined traits can make themselves actual! For even to carry out our own plans, we must be able to predict what we ourselves are likely to do — and that will become easier the more we simplify ourselves. >Planning/AI/Minsky.


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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 [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] 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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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-06-17
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