a story lives forever
Register
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Register
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please untick here if you DO NOT wish us to contact you about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.

Loading the player... If you can't see this video please get the Flash Player.

NEXT STORY

The beginning of the artificial intelligence community

RELATED STORIES

Inception of "The Art of Computer...
Donald Knuth
The beauty of the Lisp language
Marvin Minsky Scientist
Views Duration
41. The frustration of teaching calculus at MIT 811 01:54
42. Publishing Steps Toward Artificial Intelligence 279 01:39
43. Switching from teaching math to artificial intelligence 317 00:32
44. The beauty of the Lisp language 3115 02:05
45. The beginning of the artificial intelligence community 320 01:16
46. The fathers of Artificial Intelligence 405 02:08
47. My covert dating tactics 514 01:46
48. How things got done at the AI lab 328 00:57
49. Setting up the AI lab with John McCarthy 344 02:00
50. The great benefit of having a co-director 215 02:21
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

John McCarthy was a good programmer; I was a… not very good programmer and he had invented this wonderful language called Lisp, which was based on the nice language that Newell and Simon had invented called… no, it’s called IPL, Information Processing Language. IPL is made of little atoms and it’s very tedious, and McCarthy’s invention was… it was more like FORTRAN, which was… which is a language… IPL just had little instructions, FORTRAN has statements, make this true, and Lisp had statements with a very clean syntax. It only had… it basically has five basic verbs, whereas FORTRAN has a big mass of arbitrary… has a big library, and so McCarthy’s was a very elegant cleaning up of… of computer science. And thereafter, there were two kinds of languages, the algebraic language FORTRAN, and this recursive language call… based on Lisp, which… they’re now dying out because of… in a Lisp program, you can write a program that writes Lisp programs so it has a kind of open future; now, no… no one actually does that yet, but it’s still possible.  In the other languages, it's almost… you can’t write a C program that will write a C program, it’s just… there aren’t any verbs of the right kind, so to me programming hasn’t changed much in 50 years because they got locked into this… strange set of limitations.

Born in 1927, Marvin Minsky is one of the pioneers of the field of Artificial Intelligence, founding the MIT AI lab in 1970. He has also made many contributions to the fields of mathematics, cognitive psychology, robotics, optics and computational linguistics. Since the 1950s, he has attempted to define and explain human cognition, the ideas of which can be found in his two books, The Emotion Machine and The Society of Mind. His many inventions include the first confocal scanning microscope, the first neural network simulator (SNARC) and the first LOGO 'turtle'.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: IPL, FORTRAN, John McCarthy, Allen Newell, Herbert Simon

Duration: 2 minutes, 6 seconds

Date story recorded: 29-31 Jan 2011

Date story went live: 09 May 2011