The book brings into relief the variety of approaches and disciplines that have informed the quest for a theory of cognition. The center of interest are the historical, geographical, and theoretical peripheries of classic AI's mainstream research program. The twelve chapters bring back into focus the variety of strategies and theoretical questions that researchers explored while working toward a scientific theory of cognition and pre-cognition.
The volume is organized in four parts, each one including three essays. The first one deals with cybernetics, the approach that may be considered as the most important periphery of classic AI research. The second part focuses on the geographical periphery of AI research. It examines how the theories and techniques developed on AI's home ground were translated into countries with different cultures and traditions: Italy, France, and the Soviet Union. The third part focuses on AI's periphery understood in the cultural and historical meaning of the term. It contains essays that locate some of the central concepts of AI, like representation and computability, within a broader philosophical (Descartes, Aristotle, Leibniz) and technical background (programming theory and practice). The fourth and final part of the volume is focused directly on the limitation of Turing's classic computability theory and its possible alternatives, some of which were studied in the early years of AI's research (e.g. Ashby's re-entrant information model), while others have been intensely studied in recent times (quantum automata).
Acknowledgments Douglas Hofstadter: Foreword Stefano Franchi and Francesco Bianchini: Introduction: On the Historical Dynamics of Cognitive Science: a View from the Periphery The cybernetic suburb Stefan Franchi: Life, Death, and Resurrection of the Homeostat Peter Galison: The Ontology of the Enemy: Norbert Wiener and the Cybernetic Vision Peter Asaro: Computers as Models of the Mind: On Simulations, Brains, and the Design of Computers AI's peripheries Claudio Pogliano: At the Periphery of the Rising Empire: the Case of Italy (1945-1968) Patrice Maniglier: Processing Cultures: "Structuralism" in the History of Artificial Intelligence Slava Gerovitch: Artificial Intelligence With a National Face: American and Soviet Cultural Metaphors for Thought Margins of computations Francesco Bianchini: The Cartesian-Leibnizian Turing Test Maurizio Matteuzzi: Turing Computability and Leibniz Computability Christopher M. Kelty: Logical Instruments: Regular Expressions, AI, and Thinking about Thinking At the thresholds of computability Solomon Feferman: Goedel, Nagel, Minds, and Machines Rossella Lupacchini: Entangling Effective Procedures: From Logic Machines to Quantum Automata Giorgio Sandri: Turing 1948 vs. Goedel 1972 Works Cited Index About the Contributors