Summary of key ideas from four mentors:
(The videos communicating some of their ideas can be seen at LC0aV Five Pioneers Talk about Learning, AI, and Education.
The specific relation of the thought of these four mentors are as follows:
1. Selfridge: focuses the historical challenge: How can we represent the world so learning is easy?
2. Minsky: describes his Society of Mind as a brain-plausible suite of 300 representations and mini-theories making bridges to descriptions of the development and function of mind.
3. White: discusses (in current issues) the fruitfulness of looking at humans as constructing their minds through interactions with human-designed environments, in the artifacts of which intelligence is embedded.
4. Papert: notes the importance of the concreteness of human thought, which I first emphasized with him in the mid-seventies; of course, Seymour is at his best here, elegant and lucid, a joy to listen to. (“Concrete” as I used the term means intimately rooted in personal experience and NOT a simple “mirror of objects.”)
If you take the points of the four videos, you will see their influence in my agenda which is:
1. the interpretations of ecologically rich case studies of learning (cognitive anthropology)
2. focused by Selfridge’s question: how can we represent the world so learning is easy?
3. using Minsky’s 300 representations and mini-theories (plus later work) as tools,
4. in the framework White proposes (interaction of the learner with intelligence designed
into or found in the environment) to address in concrete detail the issue that began my quest:
from the original (“literary”) proposal for my PhD thesis: LC2cA1 A Research Proposal for The Intimate Study
“In conclusion these few words: men have long argued over the relative import of intrinsic and
extrinsic factors in development. With the newly specific ideas of artificial intelligence, I hope
to trace the interaction of psyche and settings to see how of the concrete world we encounter:
“Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange” —
the human mind.
This remains my objective.
As Marvin (Minsky) said this summer,”You should be sure to give yourself some credit too.”