The human mind can do many amazing things. Of particular interest are a set of cognitive abilities such as simple inference and recognition that are computationally very demanding, but that we humans perform without any perceptible delay or any sense of mental effort – this despite the fact that our brains use slow, millisecond-speed components. In this position paper, I present a brief inventory of human mental operations that exhibit this kind of surprising efficiency. I suggest that we humans accomplish these feats by (a) avoiding the computationally intractable forms of these problems and (b) by applying massively parallel processing, though perhaps of a very simple kind. This is not a new suggestion – some of these ideas were first developed in my mid-1970s work on NETL . However, I believe that a renewed focus on the parallel vs. serial components of mental processing can help us both in understanding human intelligence and in achieving human-like performance in our AI systems.
IOS Press, Inc.
6751 Tepper Drive
Clifton, VA 20124
Tel.: +1 703 830 6300
Fax: +1 703 830 2300 email@example.com
(Corporate matters and books only) IOS Press c/o Accucoms US, Inc.
For North America Sales and Customer Service
West Point Commons
Lansdale PA 19446
Tel.: +1 866 855 8967
Fax: +1 215 660 5042 firstname.lastname@example.org