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The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics (1989)

by Roger Penrose

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,157274,295 (3.65)25
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 puts forward his view that there are some facets of human thinking that can never be emulated by a machine. The book's central concern is what philosophers call the "mind-body problem." 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 listener 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, and the structure of the brain.… (more)
  1. 20
    Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penrose (P_S_Patrick)
    P_S_Patrick: These two books being from the same author, and on the same subject, consciousness, it is hard not to recommend one one if you have enjoyed the other. While Shadows is the more satisfying book in the end, ENM is the more entertaining, (if maths, physics, logic, and philosophical enquiry can be entertaining). Shadows is a bit harded to get through, and not for the most part as interesting, while ENM has more interesting content, it never really gives any proper answers to the questions discussed, while Shadows does. Shadows is an essential read if you were intrigued with what was laid out in ENM.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
I enjoyed the first few chapters on computation/algorithms. The physics chapters however moved way too quickly for my comprehension. The last two chapters where he finally gets around to drawing everything together into his thesis are pretty unconvincing. ( )
  audient_void | Jan 6, 2024 |
Doesn't really work as an audio book -- reading binary representations of turning machines... ( )
  Castinet | Dec 11, 2022 |
Il testo cerca di argomentare la tesi che la coscienza, trascende una concezione algoritmica. Deve essere qualcosa di più. Penrose guida il lettore passo a passo tra le basi fisiche e matematiche per riuscire a far luce su quello che è il suo pensiero, affrontato nell'ultimo capitolo del libro.

Inizia la discussione con un'introduzione all' IA (Intelligenza Artificiale), passando in rassegna la storia e la filosofia che vi stanno dietro. Da tenere presente essere un testo "vecchio" per l' argomento. Vengono citati diversi pensatori indipendentemente dal loro punto di vista, con estremo par condicio. Un esempio è il libro Gödel, Escher, Bach: un eterna ghirlanda brillante di Douglas Hofstadter. Una lettura molto bella ed interessante che consiglio a tutti (impegnativa).

Seguono capitoli davvero ben scritti su tutta la teoria della computazione ([Universal] Turing Machine, Problemi di Deducibilità, Tesi Alonzo Church, Teoria della complessità, Algoritmi P NP ecc..), su concetti matematici (Teorema di Gödel, platonismo, intuizionismo e formalismo), sulle teorie definite SUPERBE, la fisica, la cosmologia e la freccia del tempo, cervelli reali e modelli di cervello.

Ho apprezzato molto la caratteristica di Penrose di descrivere con estrema chiarezza i diversi punti di vista su di un argomento, esponendo la sua opinione senza però insistere troppo a proprio favore, lasciando che sia il lettore a fronte di tutte le informazioni esposte a farsi una propria idea.

Penrose è incline ad una matematica platonica assoluta, esterna ed eterna non fondata su criteri umani. I concetti matematici hanno una propria esistenza atemporale, non dipendente dalla società umana né da particolari oggetti fisici.

Ci domanda infatti, Secondo voi, l'insieme di Mendelbrot esisteva o no prima che fu scoperto?"

Ho ritenuto particolarmente interessanti sopratutto i capitoli discorsivi. Avendo basi scientifiche nella mia formazione, i chiarimenti sulle basi fisiche e matematiche, sono risultati leggermente pesanti nonostante l' esposizione semplice e chiara.

Ritengo però che sia sempre meglio ricevere più informazioni che ne meno, sarà poi il singolo lettore a saltare o leggere velocemente le parti note. Un testo consigliato a tutti i neofiti e non.

Citazioni:
A mio modo di vedere.. (Principio antropico) la natura dell'universo in cui ci troviamo è fortemente vincolata dalla richiesta che esseri intelligenti come noi stessi debbano essere realmente presenti per osservarlo.
Tutta l'informazione esiste da sempre.

A volte i bambini vedono cose con chiarezza che si confondono e si oscurano nella vita adulta.
( )
  giacomomanta | Aug 23, 2022 |
Interesting and insightful. Unfortunately author dives into details (well maybe that's overstatement, but how do you call 50 to 200(?) pages digressions) of every concept he introduces, totally destroying the flow. It took me a while to finish it, but by the time I was done, I couldn't remember half of the arguments/hypothesises/threads. ( )
  bulislaw | Mar 19, 2021 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roger Penroseprimary authorall editionscalculated
Amsterdamski, PiotrTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balibar, FrançoiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bekker, Jos denTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
García Sanz, JavierTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, MartinForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leigh, DennisCover illustrationsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sosio, LiberoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tiercelin, ClaudineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Szeretett anyám drága emlékének ajánlom ezt a könyvet, amelynek megjelenését Ő már nem érhette meg.
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Sok neves matematikus és fizikus találja nehéznek, ha nem lehetetlennek, hogy olyan könyvet írjon, amelet a nem szakmabeliek is megérthetnek.
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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 Penrose puts forward his view that there are some facets of human thinking that can never be emulated by a machine. The book's central concern is what philosophers call the "mind-body problem." 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 listener 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, and the structure of the brain.

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For many decades, the proponents of `artificial intelligence' have maintained that computers will soon be able to do everything that a human can do. In his bestselling work of popular science, Sir Roger Penrose takes us on a fascinating tour through the basic principles of physics, cosmology, mathematics, and philosophy to show that human thinking can never be emulated by a machine.
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