Marvin Minsky has made many contributions to AI, cognitive psychology, mathematics, computational linguistics, robotics, and optics. In recent years he has worked chiefly on imparting to machines the human capacity for commonsense reasoning. His conception of human intellectual structure and function is presented in The Society of Mind, which is also the title of the course he teaches at MIT. He received the BA and PhD in mathematics at Harvard and Princeton. In 1951 he built the SNARC, the first neural network simulator. His other inventions include mechanical hands and other robotic devices, the confocal scanning microscope, the "Muse" synthesizer for musical variations (with E. Fredkin), and the first LOGO "turtle" (with S. Papert). A member of the NAS, NAE and Argentine NAS, he has received the ACM Turing Award, the MIT Killian Award, the Japan Prize, the IJCAI Research Excellence Award, the Rank Prize and the Robert Wood Prize for Optoelectronics, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal. Minsky's current work in progress is titled The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of Human Kind.
- Marvin Minsky's home page
- Marvin Minsky's Wikipedia page
- Brief Academic Biography of Marvin Minsky
- MIT Press interview with Marvin Minsky
- NICSI video interview with Marvin Minsky
- Marvin Minsky's Usenet posts
- Conscious Machines, by Marvin Minsky
- A Framework for Representing Knowledge, by Marvin Minsky
- Review of Marvin Minsky's book, Society of Mind
Marvin Minsky Quotes
What magical trick makes us intelligent? The trick is that there is no trick. The power of intelligence stems from our vast diversity, not from any single, perfect principle. Our species has evolved many effective although imperfect methods, and each of us individually develops more on our own. Eventually, very few of our actions and decisions come to depend on any single mechanism. Instead, they emerge from conflicts and negotiations among societies of processes that constantly challenge one another.
Our present culture may be largely shaped by this strange idea of isolating children's thought from adult thought. Perhaps the way our culture educated its children better explains why most of us come out as dumb as they do, than it explains how some of us come out as smart as they do.
Eventually, robots will make everything.