Marvin Minsky, “father of artificial intelligence,” passes away at 88

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Marvin Minsky, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence and who helped make machines think, leading to computers that understand spoken commands and beat grandmasters at chess, passed away on 24 January 2016 in Boston, United States due to cerebral hemorrhage.  He was 88.

Minsky was one of the world's foremost artificial intelligence experts who had created robotic hands that can manipulate objects. He had also developed new programming frameworks and authored several books on artificial intelligence and  philosophy.

Life of Marvin Minsky at a glance  :

Minsky, who was born in New York City in 1927, was drawn to science and engineering as a child. As a child he was enthralled by the works of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. Minsky graduated from Harvard in 1950 with a degree in mathematics and in 1954 earned a Ph.D. in math from Princeton University. In 1959 he and John McCarthy founded the MIT Artificial Intelligence Project (AIT), which is now known as Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AIL).

Minsky's inventions : In 1963, he developed first head-mounted graphical display and the confocal microscope which is considered as a predecessor to today's widely used confocal laser scanning microscope.

He had developed the first Logo "turtle" with the help of Seymour Papert. Minsky also built, in 1951, the first randomly wired neural network learning machine SNARC (Stochastic neural analog reinforcement calculator).The creation of the personal computer and the Internet were also inspired by his work.

Books authored : He had authored several books on Artificial Intelligence which includes The Society of Mind, The Society of Mind, Perceptrons and A framework for representing knowledge. 

Awards and Honours : AM Turing Award (1969), it is the highest honour in computer science. Japan Prize (1990), IJCAI Award for Research Excellence (1991), Benjamin Franklin Medal (2001), Dan David Prize (2014). He was also inducted as a Fellow of the Computer History Museum (2006) and also was inducted into IEEE Intelligent Systems’ AI’s Hall of Fame (2011).

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI) ?

John McCarthy, coined the term "Artificial Intelligence (AI) " in 1955. Artificial intelligence is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software. In other words it is defined as the field of study that studies how to create computers and computer software that are capable of intelligent behavior.

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