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

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Oxford University Press, Mar 4, 1999 - Computers - 602 pages
97 Reviews
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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Review: The Emperor's New Mind Concerning Computers, Minds and the Laws of Physics

User Review  - Jonathan Chuang - Goodreads

Although this book brought to my attention some interesting ideas, I felt that as a whole, these ideas weren't communicated very succinctly or convincingly. I was constantly annoyed by the copious ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Douglas - Goodreads

I read this book when it first came out and I was still a student of science so my memory on specific details is sketchy. There is no doubt that it is interesting and lively. I recall agreeing with ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
ALGORITHMS AND TURING MACHINES
40
MATHEMATICS AND REALITY
98
TRUTH PROOF AND INSIGHT
129
THE CLASSICAL WORLD
193
QUANTUM MAGIC AND QUANTUM MYSTERY
291
COSMOLOGY AND THE ARROW OF TIME
391
IN SEARCH OF QUANTUM GRAVITY
450
REAL BRAINS AND MODEL BRAINS
483
WHERE LIES THE PHYSICS OF MIND?
523
Epilogue
583
References
584
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Sir Roger Penrose is Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at Oxford. He is the recipient of many awards and prizes, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for Physics which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their joint contribution to our understanding of the universe. His other books are Spinors and Space Time: Vol 1: Two-Spinor Calculus and Relativistic Fields (CUP, 1987); Vol 2: Spinor and Twistor Methods in Space-Time Geometry (both with WolfgangRindler, CUP, 1986), Shadows of the Mind (OUP, 1994), The Nature of Space and Time (with Stephen Hawking, Princeton University Press, 1996), and The Large, the Small and the Human Mind (CUP, 1997).

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