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Understanding Computers and Cognition: A New Foundation for Design
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Understanding Computers and Cognition: A New Foundation for Design

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  15 reviews
This volume is a theoretical and practical approach to the design of computer technology.
Paperback, 207 pages
Published January 1st 1987 by Addison-Wesley Professional (first published May 1986)
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Tommy Powell
So far this is an absolutely fascinating study... The authors -concerned with current theories for determing artificial intelligence- begin by identifying our "traditional approach" to science and scholarship based on rational inquiry, particularly the idea that we humans build and maintain cognitive maps of reality and then attempt to harmonize those maps with the world around them. They follow a Chilean neurobiologist named Humberto R. Maturana who sees the behavior of humans in terms of our " ...more
Ricardo Roman
Nov 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Es un trabajo imprescindible para comprender que la tecnología informática es un modo de vivir comunicados y conectados que forma parte de nuestra vida cotidiana. No se trata de máquinas de cálculo ni de administración de información, sino de invenciones de posibilidades en conversaciones, que -ahora con la red- son masivas globales. Es destacable que 21 años después esta obra siga siendo destacada entre los estudiosos del fenómeno de la era digital y las redes.
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book! I will definitely read it again in the future. This book gives readers a brief overview of how scientists have been trying to understand the way people understand and learn, and why the theories and models they proposed might not be enough for explaining known human behaviors. The authors mention several theoretical standpoints that have been affecting how people design computing system for decades. I especially enjoy the discussion about what is communication and how langu ...more
Oct 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
A train wreck of amateur philosophy.
Jan D
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it
The books theory is based on phenomenology (Heidegger, Gadamer). Artificial intelligence and design are discussed based on the philosophy’s implications. The introduced concepts of Heidegger’s ready-to-hand and breakdown. It also discusses tacit assumptions in our use of language, showing that the truth of a statement is dependent on these assumptions and that the assumptions themselves are constantly (re)created in our use of language and actions.
There are references to Wittgenstein (who is re
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: high school and above. Everyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ignacio Avellino
HCI Classic
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Even when the book came out, I thought to myself, "It doesn't really say anything".

I can imagine a writer for a magazine could make use of the book to think of topics for tech pieces about the "future".

A friend of mine gave me the book because he knew the authors, and wanted my take on it (as an A.I. developer).

I wrote a quick program to spew out sentences that were similar to those in the book.
Lilly Irani
Apr 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lifeinfluencing
This book has a big influence on how I think about cognition, though it took a long time to seep in. This book, in critiquing old fashioned, human-simulating AI, liberated me from aspiring to NLP AI and made it okay to do HCI. Copout by critique? Maybe. I prefer to think it's just not wasting your time on a fundamentally flawed approach. Thank you, Terry! ...more
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
A classic that merits reading despite its age. Winograd and Flores bring together philosophy, linguistics, and biology in order to illuminate the endeavor of computer science. This little book is dense but somehow manages to remain clear and readable by students of many different disciplines.
Leo W.
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
The central messages of this classic seem obvious in 2015. But, then, the sections on Maturana and Heidegger are perhaps as essential to today's techie's as ever. ...more
Kalle Wescott
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is now dated, but I give it 5 stars from a 1986 context.
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book that is frequently recommended by Hjørland in his writings.
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