The Sciences of the Artificial

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Who should read it: Cognitive science nerds

 

What I took from it: The Sciences of the Artificial is basically a book about systems-thinking, that looks at the convergence of many scientific fields and how they will inform the construction of artificial intelligence. The book was originally published in 1968, and the most recent edition is still approximately 30 years old, yet it is still extremely relevant, especially in regards to how humans think and behave. It very effectively unites ideas from fields such as economics, psychology, medicine and engineering. Simon was clearly a very expansive and astute thinker, there is much wisdom to be found in his work – here and elsewhere.

Notable quote: Human beings, viewed as behaving systems, are quite simple. The apparent complexity of our behaviour over time is largely a reflection of the complexity of the environment in which we find ourselves.

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