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Marvin Minsky

Marvin MinskyAKA Marvin Lee Minsky

Born: 9-Aug-1927
Birthplace: New York City
Died: 24-Jan-2016
Location of death: Boston, MA
Cause of death: Cerebral Hemorrhage

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist, Author

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Father of Artificial Intelligence

Military service: US Navy (1944-45)

Marvin Minsky is perhaps the foremost living expert on the theory of artificial intelligence. He designed the first neural network simulator in 1951, and the first confocal scanning microscope in 1956. With John McCarthy and others he founded what became the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in 1959. He designed and built early visual scanners, made key contributions to the development of robotics and computer-aided learning technologies, and he has studied cognitive psychology, mathematics, computational linguistics, and optics. He contributed to the development of Logic Oriented Graphic Oriented (LOGO) language, and with Seymour Papert built the first Logo "turtle" device in 1969.

He has proposed a mechanistic theory to explain the workings of the mind, and explain how it might be modeled to create an artificial intelligence. He has described "consciousness" or "self-awareness" as a myth a convenient but incorrect concept and said that the key to artificial intelligence will be when computers are designed with common sense. He co-authored the 1992 science fiction novel The Turing Option with Harry Harrison, which envisions the construction of a super-intelligent machine.

Father: Henry Minsky (physician)
Mother: Fannie Resier (artist)
Wife: Gloria Anna Rudisch (physician, m. 30-Jul-1952, until his death)
Son: Henry
Daughter: Juliana
Daughter: Margaret

    High School: Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, NY (attended)
    High School: Phillips Academy Andover (1945)
    University: BA Mathematics, Harvard University (1950)
    University: PhD Mathematics, Princeton University (1954)
    Scholar: Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1957-58)
    Teacher: Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1957-58)
    Administrator: Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1964-73)
    Professor: Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1973-74)
    Professor: Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1974-89)
    Professor: Media Arts and Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1989-present)

    Academy of Achievement Awards Council
    Alcor Scientific Board
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Association for Artificial Intelligence President (1981-82)
    Argentine National Academy of Science Foreign Member
    Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Fellow
    CSICOP Fellow
    Disney Walt Disney Imagineering (Fellow)
    Foresight Nanotech Institute Board of Advisors
    Harvard Society of Fellows 1954
    International Children's Digital Library Foundation Technology Board
    Member of the Board of Information International (1961-84)
    League for Programming Freedom
    LOGO Computer Systems, Inc. Co-Founder (1980)
    National Academy of Engineering
    National Academy of Sciences
    National Dance Institute Board of Advisors
    National Space Society Board of Governors
    Planetary Society Board of Advisors
    The Third Culture
    Turing Award 1970
    MIT Killian Award 1989
    Japan Prize 1990
    IJCAI Research Excellence Award 1991
    Joseph Priestley Award 1995
    Rank Prize 1995
    Computer Pioneer Award 1995
    Wood Prize 2001 (by the Optical Society of America)
    Benjamin Franklin Medal 2001 (by the Franklin Institute)
    Jewish Ancestry

    The Singularity Is Near (26-Aug-2010)

Official Website:

Author of books:
Computation: Finite and Infinite Machines (1967, textbook)
Semantic Information Processing (1968, edited by Minsky)
Perceptrons: An Introduction to Computational Geometry (1969, non-fiction, with Seymour Papert)
Artificial Intelligence (1972, non-fiction, with Seymour Papert)
The Society of Mind (1986, non-fiction)
The Turing Option (1992, novel, with Harry Harrison)
The Emotion Machine (2006, non-fiction)

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