Marvin Minsky

Communications of the ACM

Marvin Minsky, an American scientist working in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) who co-founded vthe Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AI laboratory, wrote several books on AI and philosophy, and was honored with the ACM A.M. Turing Award, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016 at the age of 88. Born in New York City, Minsky attended the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, the Bronx High School of Science, and Phillips Academy, before entering the U.S. Navy in 1944. After leaving the service, he attended Harvard University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1950. He then went to Princeton University, where he built the first randomly wired neural network learning machine, the Stochastic Neural Analog Reinforcement Calculator (SNARC), before earning his Ph.D in mathematics there in 1954. Doctorate in hand, Minsky was admitted to the group of Junior Fellows at Harvard, where he invented the confocal scanning microscope for thick, light-scattering specimens, decades in advance of the lasers and computer power needed to make it useful; today, it is in wide use in the biological sciences.


When One Parent Is a Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist and the Other Is a Stay-at-Home Mom

Slate

To nominate a potential subject ideally between the ages of 5 and 17, email humaninterest@slate.com. Kaden Hyatt is 13 years old and in the seventh grade. He lives in San Francisco with his dad, Nabeel Hyatt, a tech venture capitalist at Spark Capital, and his mom, Megan Hyatt, who is currently a stay-at-home mom. Can you tell me a little bit about your relationship with your parents? My dad is a venture capitalist and my mom just takes care of us, so my mom generally picks us up from school and drives us around, and my dad is generally home at night three out of five weekdays.


Obituary: Herbert A. Simon / Father of artificial intelligence and Nobel Prize winner

AITopics Original Links

"I like to think that since I was about 19, I have studied human decision-making and problem-solving," Dr. Simon said in a Post-Gazette interview last fall. He earned a doctorate in political science at the University of Chicago in 1943 and took teaching positions at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley, before joining the newly established industrial administration school at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.


Shirley MacLaine talks about Oscars, Robert Osborne and her new film

Los Angeles Times

Shirley MacLaine is on a roll. She became a trending topic on Twitter and Facebook when she appeared at last month's Oscars with Charlize Theron. Earlier this year, she received the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. Career Achievement Award and this month was honored at the Texas Film Awards in Austin with a Lifetime Achievement Award. She's also been earning rave reviews for "The Last Word," an indie drama going into wider release on Friday, playing Harriet, a controlling retired businesswoman who decides she wants to control what is written about her in her obituary.