Fuzzy Thinking: The New Science of Fuzzy Logic Kosko, Bart Hyperion (June 1, 1994)

A better understanding of fuzzy logic will help anyone who is interested in the project of developing a foundation for discussion of ethics and morality based on science, as proposed by Sam Harris in his recent book, The Moral Landscape.  This book, Fuzzy Thinking, will provide you with the foundation you need.

Reason itself, not just the theory of evolution, is under siege.  Reason is losing ground because we educate our citizenry with 19th century tools, even as modern problems fail to yield to, or are exacerbated by our linear approaches to problems. 

There exist a handful of relatively new concepts which will help equip us with the tools we need, tools which go beyond our current 19th century approach to education.  These tools are already reshaping the world we live in.  The more people who know about these tools, the better we will be able, as an emerging global society, to admit, confront, assess, and solve the problems of the coming century.  These new tools will shape our thinking at the same scale as the tools provided by Freud, Darwin, and Einstein. 

Fuzzy logic is one such tool.

Fuzzy Thinking will reward you with a new toolset for thinking about problems, and a better understanding of the world—not just the one we live in, but the one we are making.

Fuzzy logic is driving machine intelligence to new heights, rapidly.  On certain problems, machines are already surpassing our own intelligence.  Ten years ago, an IBM computer beat a world grandmaster at the game of chess.  A few weeks ago, IBM’s Watson computer conquered a new and much, much more difficult feat, beating the best human players of the televised trivia game show, Jeopardy, where natural language parsing, context, puns, and ambiguity are constantly in play.  Within a few months or years, the phone in your pocket will begin to play a more active roll in helping you find and manage information.  The lessons learned from building Watson will be learned by many companies, and applied to many problems that we haven’t yet imagined.

Fuzzy Thinking, although it was written several years before the computer chess victory, and over 15 years before the Jeopardy victory, will help you understand how machines went from winning chess, to winning Jeopardy, so quickly.

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