Noticing similarities is something as common and as unheeded as breathing. Yet this core ability of human minds relies on pattern perception, abstraction, extrapolation, and an intuitive sense of which paths are the most promising. Douglas Hofstadter - author of the bestseffing Cadel, Escher, Bach - and colleagues at the Fluid Analogies Research Group have spent twenty years developing programs to model these mysterious mental processes.
Jumbo and Numbo tackle basic brain-teasers, Copycat and Tabletop illuminate analogical thinking, while Letter Spirit concerns the design of typefaces whose characters are strikingly original but still (just) recognizable as letters. With characteristic wit and brio, Hofstadter and his co-authors draw on comparisons with chemistry and Chopin, courtship and cross-cultural communication, to describe their fascinating research projects. They also provide many dazzling new insights into the nature of the human mind.
"This exhilarating book is the most important on AI for the thoughtful general reader in years and ample proof that reports of the death of artificial intelligence have been greatly exaggerated"
William Poundstone, New York Times Book Review
"Anyone interested in artificial intelligence should read it soon... a remarkable achievement"
Mike Holderness, New Scientist
"Terrific - deep, wise, provocative and profound"
Los Angeles Times