Artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky is deceased




Marvin Minsky is deceased Sunday night from a brain hemorrhage. The former Turing Award winner and founder in the field of artificial intelligence was 88 years. During his life he has dedicated himself to bringing logic into machines.

Minsky was a professor of computer science at MIT. In 1959 he joined the university, along with another founder in the field of artificial intelligence, John McCarthy, the Artificial Intelligence Project. Also, he developed some of the “Society of mind ‘theory which argues that’ intelligence is not the product of a single mechanism, but comes from a controlled interaction of a diverse amount of inventive resources.” As a result people would not be out of machines.

His last work was “The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind” in 2006. It describes him how emotions basically not much different from thought processes. Minsky has said that the book was intended to provide a suggestion on how the human brain works and how machines can be made that thinking and experiencing emotions.

Minsky has several scientific achievements to his name. So he designed one of the first head-mounted graphical displays in 1963, the predecessor of the VR goggles. He has also developed some of the first visual scanners. In 1951 he built Snarc, the first randomly wired neural network machine.

Source: Web of Stories

In 1956 he conceived and developed the first confocal laser fluorescence microscope, optical microscope with high resolution and image quality that is still used in biology science. With the confocal microscope, it is possible to make sharper images of microscopic objects than with standard microscopes. Images are recorded point by point and rebuilt on a computer. This makes it possible to create a 3D-image of a topological complex object.

Minsky demonstrated the possibilities to give computers logic. While working for MIT he began to work on Lisp, or the List Processing Language, a programming language that became the standard for research and development of artificial intelligence. He also invented garbage collection in which pieces of code that are not necessary at the moment are automatically deleted from the memory of the computer. This technique for automatic memory management, he added Lisp in 1959. The technique is still used in, for example Java.

Useless Machine In addition, he invented a machine during his studies in 1952, and subsequently made in cooperation, then the publicity touted as the most useless machine. The machine is a box containing a button that put the machine on. Once this happens there will be an arm out of the box the button again to turn off the stand. Then the arm disappears into the box.

Minsky’s knowledge was also reason for Stanley Kubrick to ask him questions about artificial intelligence in preparation for his film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Furthermore, Minsky made contributions in the field of mathematics and he was a talented pianist. The on August 9, 1927 in New York-born Marvin Minsky Sunday night at the age of 88 died from a brain hemorrhage.


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