This Day in History
August 9, 1927
Computer Pioneer Marvin Minsky Born
Minsky has made many major contributions to computer science in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI), cognitive psychology, mathematics, computational linguistics, robotics, and optics. In 1987, Minsky wrote the landmark book The Society of Mind, which proposes that human consciousness and thought processes are decomposable into a series of mini-minds or agents, each of which performs specific functions.
Minsky received a BA and PhD in mathematics at Harvard and Princeton. In 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 Ed Fredkin), and the first LOGO turtle (with Seymour Papert). In recent years he has tried to understand the connections between computers and commonsense reasoning.