(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Penrose reviews the historical debate pro and cons Artificial Intelligence,
from Turing's test to Searle's chinese room experiment, and provides economical
and clear explanations of the mathematical tools involved, from Turing machines
to lambda calculus.
Following John Lucas, Penrose claims that Goedel's theorem asserts the preminence of the human mind over the machine: some mathematical operations are not computable, still the human mind can treat them (at least to prove that they are not computable). Therefore Artificial Intelligence is impossible.
Then Penrose surveys scientific theories, from Euclides' geometry to Einstein's relativity. A long introduction to quantum theory brings Penrose to prove its inadequacy to deal with macroscopic phenomena.
"Central to our feelings of awareness is the sensation of the progression of time". Penrose looks for the origin of time in cosmological models and in the second law of thermodynamics.
After a short introduction to neuroscience, Penrose hints that consciousness could be a quantum phenomenon.
Perhaps a better exposition of these ideas came with Penrose's SHADOWS OF THE MIND (1994) .
By the same author:
Penrose, Roger: "The Road to Reality" (Oxford University Press, 2004)
Penrose Roger: SHADOWS OF THE MIND (Oxford University Press, 1994)