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Are We Unique?: a Scientist Explores the Unparalleled Intelligence of the Human Mind

by James Trefil

  • ISBN: 9780471155362
  • ISBN10: 0471155365

Are We Unique?: a Scientist Explores the Unparalleled Intelligence of the Human Mind

by James Trefil

  • List Price: $24.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
  • Publish date: 02/01/1997
  • ISBN: 9780471155362
  • ISBN10: 0471155365
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Description: A powerful and important exploration of the most compelling question for the 21st century

"A highly readable and engaging treatment of a fascinating question. A provocative and enjoyable book". -- Daniel L. Schacter, author of Searching for Memory

We have known that chimpanzees are smart, and that our cats and dogs can be remarkably clever, but who would have believed -- as scientists have recently discovered -- that lobsters and octopuses can think? And when IBM's Deep Blue computer seriously challenged world chess champion Gary Kasparov, many proclaimed that machines can think now too.

In a stimulating exploration of the most advanced studies of animal and artificial intelligence, James Trefil asks the provocative question, Is there really anything so special about the human mind after all? He presents a powerful and compelling argument that, yes, in fact, the human mind is an entirely unique organ of intelligence. So phenomenally complex and intricate is the human mind, Trefil shows, that animal minds are different not only in degree of intelligence but in the kinds of intelligence and consciousness they are capable of. And, despite the achievements of computer designers, no computer of any kind will ever replicate human intelligence.

But, in a startling twist to the artificial intelligence debate pitting man against machine, he also introduces the astonishing proposition that computers will one day develop a new kind of intelligence and consciousness all their own. Computers, Trefil argues, may well become truly conscious in some powerful way we have yet to understand.

Ultimately, Are We Unique offers an exhilarating exploration of exactly what it means to beintelligent...and human.

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