Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Terminologies: here, special features of the language use of the individual authors are explained.

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.

Author Item Summary Meta data

Marvin Minsky on Terminology - Dictionary of Arguments

Minsky I 73
Terminology/Minsky: Puzzle Principle: We can program a computer to solve any problem by trial and error, without knowing how to solve it in advance, provided only that we have a way to recognize when the problem is solved. >Trial and error/Minsky.
I 74
Progress Principle: Any process of exhaustive search can be greatly reduced if we possess some way to detect when progress has been made. Then we can trace a path toward a solution (...). >Problem Solving/Minsky.
I 78
Difference-engine: must contain a description of a desired situation. It must have subagents that are aroused by various differences between the desired situation and the actual situation. Each subagent must act in a way that tends to diminish the difference that aroused it. >Goals/Minsky.
I 82
K-line/Minsky: Whenever you get a good idea, solve a problem, or have a memorable experience, you activate a K-line to represent it. 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. >Memory/Minsky.
I 83
P-agents: were used before in solving a problem.
Q-agents: are agents of your recent thoughts.
I 92
S-agents: let's call the original agents S-agents and call their society the S-society. Given any S-society, we can imagine building memories for it by constructing a corresponding K-society for it. When we start making a K-society, we must link each K-line directly to S-agents, because there are no other K-lines we can connect them to. >Society of Minds/Minsky.
I 121
Uniframe/Minsky: a description constructed to apply to several different things at once. ((s) E.g.building blocks may be arranged in different ways and create tools for different functions).
I 124
Accumulation/Minsky: Uniframing doesn't always work. We often try to make an everyday idea precise - but just can't find much unity. Then, we can only accumulate collections of examples.
I 127
The Exception Principle: It rarely pays to tamper with a rule that nearly always works. It's better just to complement it with an accumulation of specific exceptions.
I 145
The Investment Principle: Our oldest ideas have unfair advantages over those that come later. The earlier we learn a skill, the more methods we can acquire for using it. Each new idea must then compete against the larger mass of skills the old ideas have accumulated. (Cf. Matthew effect).
I 155
Def Immanence Illusion: Whenever you can answer a question without a noticeable delay, it seems as though that answer were already active in your mind.
I 161
Def Recursion Principle: When a problem splits into smaller parts, then unless one can apply the mind's full power to each subjob, one's intellect will get dispersed and leave less cleverness for each new task.
I 166
Def Cross-exclusion/Minsky: if several urgent needs occur at once, there must be a way to select one of them. (…) cross-exclusion, (…) appears in many portions of the brain. In such a system, each member of a group of agents is wired to send inhibitory signals to all the other agents of that group.
I 167
Conservation: Force all activities to depend upon some substance or other kind of quantity of which only a certain amount is available.
Negative Feedback: Supply a summary device that estimates the total activity in the agency and then broadcasts to that agency an inhibitory signal whose strength is in proportion to that total. This will tend to damp down incipient avalanches.
Censors and Suppressors: The conservation and feedback schemes tend to be indiscriminate.
I 198
Polynemes: are involved with our long-term memories. A polyneme is a type of K-line; it sends the same, simple signal to many different agencies: each of those agencies must learn, for itself, what to do when it receives that signal. When you hear the word apple, a certain polyneme is aroused, and the signal from this polyneme will put your Color agency into a state that represents redness. The same signal will set your Shape agency into a state that represents roundness, and so forth.
Isonome: Each isonome controls a short-term memory in each of many agencies. For example, suppose we had just been talking about a certain apple, and then I said, Please put it in this pail. In this case, you would assume that the word it refers to the apple.
Def Pronomes/Terminology/Minsky: we need to have machinery we can use as temporary handles for taking hold of, and moving around, those active fragments of mental states. To emphasize the analogy with the pronouns of our languages, I'll call such handles pronomes.

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 2021-07-27
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