The world lost another pioneer on January 24, 2016, one by the name of Marvin Minsky. And while the 88-year-old was not one of the more famous names in computer or internet technology, he made some other significant contributions in the the field of Artificial Intelligence.
Minsky was a computer science educator and, later, a professor emeritus at the MIT Media Lab. Minsky was deeply interested in AI, going so far as calling it a “more profound” field than the study of genetics or physics. He saw the human brain as a machine that could be analysed in function, and apply that to computers; for instance, what it would take to teach computers common sense. Minsky had a number of well received books on the topic between his first in 1985, and his last in 2006. He’s even been the recipient of the coveted AM Turing Award in 1969, the highest honour one can receive in the field of computer science.
Marvin Minsky also co-founded the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, with colleague John McCarthy, in 1959. McCarthy, who passed away back in 2011, is in fact credited with coining the term “Artificial Intelligence.” MIT’s obituary for their renowned professor says Minsky foresaw that humans would one day develop machines that rival their own intelligence, but was impatient of the delays from a lack of fun$ing and researchers.