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Trying to stink out the school chemistry lab


Intelligence tests
Marvin Minsky Scientist
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Yes, I remember there was one intelligence test that I took some time when I was a little child. And, this person would ask different questions and one of the questions was, there’s a round, circular field and there’s something lost in it. How would you find it? And one way would be to… I… to go to the center and spiral out, and… but I must have thought of that and... but I didn’t like that because you would cross your path where you came in. So, I said: 'Oh well, you could do it by going like this on one side back and forth and then you go around over to here and go back and forth this way and you come out' and... then later, the experimenter said: 'Well that wasn’t the best answer, you should do this…' and I realized that whoever had designed the… the answers didn’t realize that you should take a much more complicated path that keeps you from crossing yourself. So then, I wondered about... how intelligent are the people who make these tests? But, it’s nice that they put geometry in. A lot of tests are just verbal.

Marvin Minsky (1927-2016) was one of the pioneers of the field of Artificial Intelligence, founding the MIT AI lab in 1970. He also made many contributions to the fields of mathematics, cognitive psychology, robotics, optics and computational linguistics. Since the 1950s, he had been attempting 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: Intelligence, intelligence test

Duration: 1 minute, 50 seconds

Date story recorded: 29-31 Jan 2011

Date story went live: 13 May 2011