"I think what this book is about is bringing AI to the greater attention and fomenting a bit more enlightened -- enlightenment about what AI has accomplished and what it's having a very difficult time accomplishing and why in terms of modeling how human beings behave, how they think, how they experience struggles and pleasures. Yet, in terms of encapsulating a single, clearly articulated argument, I'm not sure I'm ready to do that. I'm not necessarily sure he has one.
I think the most enjoyable thing about this book is it's enjoyable to read because of the way that he structures the text. Rather than just making up with people might say and giving that a contrived feel, he lends a little bit of a cultural/communal authenticity to it by bringing in a whole bunch of largely relevant and interesting quotes from philosophers, and artists, and writers, novelists, whatever, from many decades, including some from Aristotle, which are always kind of funny. So as you read through a section, there's this feeling that Marvin Minsky is piloting the ship but that he's including a lot of people in the dialog.
My overall intellectual criticism of the book is often I'll read to the end of a section and go, "Okay, I don't have any specific gripe with this proposed structural distillation of how things might actually work in the brain, but I also don't have any actual evidence in support of it." You're gonna have to read it on your own to make your own call about what it does and does not accomplish because any given person, myself included, for sure is gonna have their own idiosyncratic spin of what the book really says.
I think I'm ready to give The Emotion Machine five stars."