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K-line (artificial intelligence)

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Cognitive Psychology: Attention · Decision making · Learning · Judgement · Memory · Motivation · Perception · Reasoning · Thinking  - Cognitive processes Cognition - Outline Index

A K-line, or Knowledge-line, is a mental agent which represents an association of a group of other mental agents found active when a subject solves a certain problem or formulates a new idea. These were first described in Marvin Minsky's essay K-lines: A Theory of Memory, published in 1980 in the journal Cognitive Science,

"Whenever you 'get a good idea', solve a problem, or have a memorable experience, you activate a K-line to 'represent' it. A K-line is a wirelike structure that attaches itself to whichever mental agents are active when you solve a problem or have a good idea.

When you activate that K-line later, the agents attached to it are aroused, putting you into a 'mental state' much like the one you were in when you solved that problem or got that idea. This should make it relatively easy for you to solve new, similar problems!" (1998, p. 82.)


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