Item description for Confabulation Theory: The Mechanism of Thought by Robert Hecht-Nielsen...
Confabulation theory offers the first complete detailed explanation of the mechanism of cognition, i.e., thinking, an essential information processing capability of all enbrained Earth animals (bees, octopi, trout, ravens, humans, et al.). Concentrating on the human case, this book offers an hypothesis for the neuronal implementation of cognition, and explores the mathematics and methods of application of its mechanism. Thinking turns out to be starkly alien in comparison with all known technological approaches to information processing. While probably not yet scientifically testable, confabulation theory seems consistent with the facts of neuroscience. Beyond science, any complete detailed explanation of cognition can be investigated by applying it technologically. Multiple experiments of this nature are described in this book in complete detail. The results suggest that confabulation theory can provide the universal platform for building intelligent machines. In short, this book explains how thinking works and establishes the foundation for building machines that think.
With two DVDs of courseware, this book is suitable both as a text for professional self-study and for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in neuroscience, computational intelligence, cognitive science, linguistics and psychology, the prerequisites being elementary mathematics and neuroscience. Because of the theory's implications for philosophy, education, medicine, anthropology and social science, this book will also be of interest to scientists in those domains.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.37" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.71" Weight: 1.32 lbs.
Release Date Aug 24, 2007
ISBN 3540496033 ISBN13 9783540496038
Availability 85 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 30, 2017 12:39.
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More About Robert Hecht-Nielsen
Robert Hecht-Nielsen was made a Fellow of the IEEE in 1997 for leadership in practical applications of neural network technology. He was a pioneer in the development of neural networks and authored the first textbook on the subject, Neurocomputing (1989). He has been a member of the UCSD faculty since 1986.
Reviews - What do customers think about Confabulation Theory: The Mechanism of Thought?
Well-written, but repetitive and overstated Apr 26, 2008
"Confabulation Theory" is not a textbook but a collection of papers by the author plus two talks on DVDs. The writing is very clear and the talks are excellent, taking you through the theory one step at a time. Hecht-Nielsen is a great teacher. But the papers are repetitive, covering the same basics over and over again, while skimming over the key topics of self-organization within modules and implementation of the winner-take-all networks. The book spends too much time on sentence confabulation experiments (which appear to be similar in approach to statistical language translation) and not enough on the applications sketched out in the last two chapters (vision and continuous speech segmentation).
Hecht-Nielsen has an unfortunate habit of overstatement which weakens his presentation. In the text and the videos he repeatedly points out how "starkly alien" confabulation theory is, and how it might revolutionize "psychology, education, philosophy, psychiatry, medicine (both human and veterinary), law, and theology." Really? If you're unfamiliar with neuroscience, the massive parallelism and nonlinear dynamics might seem alien, but this is old hat in the field. His "Fundamental Theorem of Cognition" goes over the edge, though, seemingly suggesting that he has "solved" the problem of cognition once and for all; the "fundamental theorem of confabulation" would have been a more appropriate and less annoying name.
There are a lot of interesting ideas here, and I finished the book wanting to know more. I hope that someday Hecht-Nielsen writes a book with greater depth in implementation issues and more breadth on applications. The papers making up the core of the theory are available on the Web, so the book is worth buying only for the convenience of having everything bound together.
Outside the box Nov 18, 2007
I heard about confabulation theory from an AGI video and looked forward to this book. The author presents a unique and relatively simple theory about the basic algorithm of the brain. Although the theory is incomplete, the big benefit of the book is presenting a thought provoking new view - and one based (I am not in a position to assess how accurately) on a substantial body of neuroscience. There is substantial redundancy resulting from use of text from the author's scientific papers - I kept asking myself, "didn't I already read this"? And although I'm in the KISS camp I am doubtful that the core algorithm can be quite as simple as confabulation theory supposes. Yet at the core are some fascinating ideas that present fuel for a much needed new direction in thinking about how to approach AGI, and sufficient concreteness from which to develop code experiments for AGI implementations.