10.4.2 – Mindlessness • Mindfulness-mindlessness: Openness to alternative possibilities vs. the tendency to act as if a situation has only one possible interpretation. o Once you have mindfully created a new way of doing something, then that approach may subsequently be engaged in mindlessly. • To prevent mindlessness: encourage people to think about things in a tentative rather than in an absolute way. o By describing objects unconditionally (this is a dog’s chew toy), participants were less mindful. o By describing objects conditionally (this could be a dog’s chew toy), participants were more mindful they were able to see that the toy could also be used as an eraser. 10.5 – Artificial Intelligence Approaches to Problem-Solving • Artificial intelligence (AI): Computer programs that solve problems in ways similar to the intelligent ways in which humans solve problems. • Heuristic: A useful problem-solving procedure that may not always guarantee a solution. • Polya wrote a problem-solving book: How to solve it. o The book is about heuristic problem-solving methods. Includes rules of thumb/shortcuts that allow you to arrive at a solution efficiently. o Polya’s method: 1) Understand the problem 2) Devise a plan 3) Carry out the plan 4) Examine the solution obtained and see if it can be used for other problems. • Polya’s approach is similar to AI techniques because they are clear, precise, and explicit methods. • AI researchers use algorithms (unambiguous solution procedures). o There are 2 classes of algorithms: 1) systematic: guaranteed to find a solution 2) non-systematic: not guaranteed (like Polya’s heuristic methods). 10.5.1 – A Simple Example of AI • Computer programs that play games like chess and scrabble are good examples of AI systems. • The program needs a data structure and an evaluation function: o Data structure = ‘understanding the problem’ A representation of the possible states of each position. o Evaluation function : does all the things that Polya refers to as creating a plan, carrying out the plan, and evaluating the plan. Works out the possible moves and evaluates those moves.
10.5.2 – The Problem Space • For simple games, the computer uses a systematic algorithm: it calculates the best move out of all possible moves. • Problem Space : The way a problem is represented, including the goal to be reached and the various ways of transforming the given situation into the solution. • Complex games like chess have very complicated problem spaces. o The problem space can’t simply be analyzed only one move ahead. • Search trees: A representation of all the possible moves branching out from the initial state of the problem. o The search tree for a game like chess is enormous.
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- Spring '09
- Consciousness, insight problems