Marvin Minsky is an American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AI laboratory, and author of several texts on AI and philosophy.
“Listen closely — Marvin Minsky’s arch, eclectic, charmingly offhand talk on health, overpopulation and the human mind is packed with subtlety: wit, wisdom and just an ounce of wily, is-he-joking? advice.”
When I first saw this video I was immediately attracted to Minsky’s thirst for knowledge and out-of-breath enthusiasm for new ideas and new ways of thinking. So much so that I immediately went to my local library and picked up his book The Emotion Machine (which is where I got the title for this blog). In the book, Minsky critiques many of the current cognitive theories about how the mind works, and specifically focuses on the subject of intelligence. Minsky argues that emotions, contrary to popular belief, play a crucial role in certain types of intelligence. Instead of thinking of emotions as something “lesser” or “more primitive” than rational thought, Minsky says emotions are different “ways to think” about different “problem types” that exist in the world. Minsky believes that the next step in building truly intelligent machines will include incorporating this key concept into the future research of artificial intelligence.