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Memories: mental repetition of representations without the original stimulus. See also stimuli, knowledge, learning.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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Marvin Minsky on Memory - Dictionary of Arguments

Münch III 113
Memory/Minsky: memory is not separated from thinking; it uses the same strategies. Effective searching (and finding) can therefore not be innate! It must depend on one's own knowledge.
Problem: Only a little can be retrieved, which is not already embedded in a framework.

Marvin Minsky, “A framework for representing knowledge” in: John Haugeland (Ed) Mind, design, Montgomery 1981, pp. 95-128

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Minsky I 35
Memory/software agents/Minsky: People often think of memory in terms of keeping records of the past, for recollecting things that happened in earlier times. But agencies also need other kinds of memory as well. See, for example, requires some sort of temporary memory in order to keep track of what next to do, when it starts one job before its previous job is done. If each of “See's” [a software agent for vision tasks] agents could do only one thing at a time, it would soon run out of resources and be unable to solve complicated problems. But if we have enough memory, we can arrange our agents into circular loops and thus use the same agents over and over again to do parts of several different jobs at the same time. >Hierarchies/Minsky, >Conflicts/Minsky, >Learning/Minsky.
Minsky I 62
Memory/Minsky: Our memories are only indirectly linked to physical time. We have no absolute sense of when a memorable event actually happened. At best, we can only know some temporal relations between it and certain other events. You might be able to recall that X and Y occurred on different days but be unable to determine which of those days came earlier. And many memories seem not to be linked to intervals of time at all — like knowing that four comes after three, or that I am myself. >Now/Minsky, >Experience/Minsky.
I 82
Memory/Terminology/Minsky: Whenever you get a good idea, solve a problem, or have a memorable experience, you activate a K-line to represent it.
Def K-Line/Minsky: A K-line is a wirelike structure that attaches itself to whichever mental agents are active when you solve a problem or have a good idea. When you activate that K-line later, the agents attached to it are aroused, putting you into a mental state much like the one you were in when you solved that problem or got that idea. (…) we memorize what we're thinking about by making a list of the agents involved in that activity. ((s) Cf. >Kripke Structure.)
Example/Kenneth Haase: You want to repair a bicycle. Before you start, smear your hands with red paint. Then every tool you need to use will end up with red marks on it. When you're done, just remember that red means ‘good for fixing bicycles.’ Next time you fix a bicycle, you can save time by taking out all the red-marked tools in advance.
If you use different colors for different jobs, some tools will end up marked with several colors.
Problem: suppose you had tried to use a certain wrench, and it didn't fit. It wouldn't be so good to paint that tool red. To make our K-lines work efficiently, we'd need more clever policies.
I 83
P-agents: were used before in solving a problem.
Q-agents: are agents of your recent thoughts.
Problem: (…) we wouldn't want our memories to re-arouse old states of mind so strongly that they overwhelm our present thoughts — for then we might lose track of what we're thinking now and wipe out all the work we've done. We only want some hints, suggestions, and ideas. >Levels/Minsky.
I 154
Memory/Minsky: It's hard to distinguish memories from memories of memories. Indeed, there's little evidence that any of our adult memories really go way back to infancy; what seem like early memories may be nothing more than reconstructions of our older thoughts.
Then what do we mean by memory? Our brains use many different ways to store the traces of our pasts. No single word can describe so much, unless it is used only in a general, informal sense.
Artificial intelligence/memory/Minsky: Memories are processes that make some of our agents act in much the same ways they did at various times in the past.
I 155
We like to think of memories as though they could restore to us things we've known in the past. But memories can't really bring things back; they only reproduce some fragments of our former states of mind, when various sights, sounds, touches, smells, and tastes affected us.
The Immanence Illusion: Whenever you can answer a question without a noticeable delay, it seems as though that answer were already active in your mind. >Present/Minsky.
I 156
Kinds of Memory: A brain has no single, common memory system. Instead, each part of the brain has several types of memory-agencies that work in somewhat different ways, to suit particular purposes.
I 157
Representation/Minsky: rearrangements of memory: E.g. what would we need to imagine moving things around a room? First we'd need some way to represent how objects are arranged in space.
(…) we could use the following simple four-step script:
1. Store the state of A in M-1. 2. Store the state of B in M-2. 3. Use M-2 to determine the state of A. 4. Use M-1 to determine the state of B.
A memory-control script like this can work only if we have memory-units that are small enough to pick out couch-sized portions of the larger scene. M-1 and M-2 would not do the job if they could store only descriptions of entire rooms. In other words, we have to be able to connect our short-term memories only to appropriate aspects of our current problems. Learning such abilities is not simple, and perhaps it is a skill some people never really master.
Our pair-exchanging script needs more machinery. Because each memory-unit must wait until the previous step is finished, the timing of each script step may have to depend on various condition sensors. >Representation/Minsky.
I 158
Organization of memory/Minsky: We'll assume that every substantial agency has several micromemory-units, each of which is a sort of temporary K-line (>Terminology/Minsky) that can quickly store or restore the state of many of the agents in that agency.
There is good evidence that, in human brains, the processes that transfer information into long-term memory are very slow, requiring time intervals that range from minutes to hours. Accordingly, most temporary memories are permanently lost. >Artificial Consciousness/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 [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

D. Münch (Hrsg.)
Kognitionswissenschaft Frankfurt 1992

Minsky II
Marvin Minsky
Semantic Information Processing Cambridge, MA 2003

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