Marvin Minsky

MIT Media Lab and MIT AI Lab
Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, MIT
Professor of E.E.C.S., M.I.T
minsky at

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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 two books: The Emotion Machine and 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 (1950) and Princeton (1954). In 1951 he built the SNARC, the first neural network simulator. His other inventions include mechanical arms, hands and other robotic devices, the Confocal Scanning Microscope, the "Muse" synthesizer for musical variations (with E. Fredkin), and one of the first LOGO "turtles". 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.

Some Publications

The Emotion Machine 2006 (book) draft ( 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Bib )

Essays on Education --- (for OLPC) --- ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

Alien Intelligence 1985 (html)
Causal Diversity 1992 (txt, html)
Why People Think Computers Can't 1982 (text)
Music Interview with Otto Laske 1991 (text)
Matter, Mind and Models 1968 (text, html)
Music, Mind, and Meaning 1981 (html)
Symbolic vs. Connectionist 1990 (html)
Alienable Rights 1992 (html)
Framework for Representing Knowledge 1974 (html)
Steps Toward Artificial Intelligence 1960 (html)
1971 AI Progress Report (html)
Telepresence (OMNI) 1980 (html)

Virtual Molecular Reality 1992 (html)
Afterword to True Names 1984 (html)
1970 ACM Turing Lecture 1970 (html)
Inventing the Confocal Microscope 1998 (text) (html)
Negative Expertise 1994 (text)
Jokes and Cognition 1981 (text)
Introduction to
LogoWorks 1984 (html)
Turing Option chapters 1992 (text)
Will Robots Inherit the Earth? 1994 (text, html)
The Society of Mind 1985 (CDROM, book)
BBC-3 Music Interview 2004 (mp3 file)
Internal Grounding 2005 (html)

Research Groups

·  MIT AI Lab

·  Brain Opera

·       MIT Media Lab

·       Learning & Common Sense


Gloria Rudisch Minsky
Matthew Amster

Margaret Minsky
Oliver Steele
Julie Minsky

Henry Minsky
Milan Singh Minsky

Abstracts   Bibliography   Biography   People