The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics

The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics

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by Roger Penrose
     
 

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For decades, proponents of artificial intelligence have argued that computers will soon be doing everything that a human mind can do. Admittedly, computers now play chess at the grandmaster level, but do they understand the game as we do? Can a computer eventually do everything a human mind can do?
In this absorbing and frequently contentious book, Roger

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Overview

For decades, proponents of artificial intelligence have argued that computers will soon be doing everything that a human mind can do. Admittedly, computers now play chess at the grandmaster level, but do they understand the game as we do? Can a computer eventually do everything a human mind can do?
In this absorbing and frequently contentious book, Roger Penrose—eminent physicist and winner, with Stephen Hawking, of the prestigious Wolf prize—puts forward his view that there are some facets of human thinking that can never be emulated by a machine. Penrose examines what physics and mathematics can tell us about how the mind works, what they can't, and what we need to know to understand the physical processes of consciousness.
He is among a growing number of physicists who think Einstein wasn't being stubborn when he said his "little finger" told him that quantum mechanics is incomplete, and he concludes that laws even deeper than quantum mechanics are essential for the operation of a mind. To support this contention, Penrose takes the reader on a dazzling tour that covers such topics as complex numbers, Turing machines, complexity theory, quantum mechanics, formal systems, Godel undecidability, phase spaces, Hilbert spaces, black holes, white holes, Hawking radiation, entropy, quasicrystals, the structure of the brain, and scores of other subjects.
The Emperor's New Mind will appeal to anyone with a serious interest in modern physics and its relation to philosophical issues, as well as to physicists, mathematicians, philosophers and those on either side of the AI debate.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The testament of a brilliant man wrestling desperately—and unashamedly—with the deepest problems of metaphysics —Nature

"Penrose embarks on a sweeping survey of black holes, cosmology and thermodynamics in search of further support. The reader is treated to a tour of much of modern physics before being brought back to the central thesis: that minds must be taken seriously." —Observer

"A pedagogical tour de force, with some dazzling new ways of illuminating the central themes of science." —Times Literary Supplement

"Penrose takes us on perhaps the most engaging and creative tour of modern physics that has ever been written....the reader might feel privileged indeed to accompany Penrose on his magical mystery tour." —Sunday Times

"Will be universally cited by strong AI opponents as the definitive refutation of strong AI....An excellent introduction to the ideas which are involved in the strong AI hypothesis." —Physics World

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780192861986
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
10/01/2002
Series:
Popular Science Series
Pages:
640
Sales rank:
374,282
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.50(d)

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