The Cambridge Quintet: A Work of Scientific Speculation

The Cambridge Quintet: A Work of Scientific Speculation

Paperback (03 Dec 1998)

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Publisher's Synopsis

By 1949, the idea of duplicating human thought processes in a computer was starting to surface, as the outgrowth of code-breaking work done by Alan Turing and others in Britain during the Second World War.

This ingenious work of speculative scientific fiction reconstructs what might have been said during the animated conversation flowing around Snow's rooms that fateful in Cambridge.

The quintet's debate anticipates all of the basic questions which have surrounded artificial intelligence in the fifty years since. Can a machine think or merely process information? Is the brain simply a symbol-processing machine, as Turing suggests, and if so, what is the nature of meaning? Can there be, as Wittgenstein proposes, no thought without language, and no language without the social interaction of human beings?

About the Publisher

Abacus

Abacus

Abacus is home to some of the world?s most renowned authors, including Donna Tartt, Gore Vidal, Jane Gardam, Primo Levi and Beryl Bainbridge. In 2013, we celebrated our 40th anniversary with the reissue of 18 of our classic books ? a wonderfully diverse collection ranging from Douglas Coupland?s Generation X and Iain Banks? The Wasp Factory, to Tom Holland?s Rubicon and Alexander McCall Smith?s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Originally a non-fiction list with something of an ecological flavour, Abacus has evolved over the years to become one of the most renowned homes for quality fiction and non-fiction, and one with a particularly strong tradition in bestselling memoirs, notably Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom and historian William Woodruff's double No. 1 bestsellers The Road to Nab End and Beyond Nab End. Our non-fiction publishing grew further with the publication of books by some of the most influential writers in their fields, such as Tim Harford, Gillian Tett and Tom Holland, and our fiction publishing continues to go from strength to strength, driven by a new generation of novelists like Kevin Maher and A. D. Miller, who sit alongside global bestsellers like Anita Shreve and Candace Bushnell.

Book information

ISBN: 9780349108537
Publisher: Little, Brown
Imprint: Abacus
Pub date:
DEWEY: 813.54
DEWEY edition: 21
Language: English
Number of pages: 181
Weight: 244g
Height: 206mm
Width: 126mm
Spine width: 13mm