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The problem with perceptrons


My work with Seymour Papert on neural networks
Marvin Minsky Scientist
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There was this wonderful incident of a meeting in England where I first met Seymour Papert, with whom I worked continuously for the next 30 years. And we both had the… had presented pretty much the same mathematical theory of how a... how a certain neural network could learn. And it was reinforcing the connections between synapses in accordance with such and such set of rules. And that alone… that very simple model shows how a machine could learn certain interesting classes of behaviors; not all, but some and... we worked for maybe 10 or 15 years on trying to find to what extent what kinds of phenomena could be learnt by a simulated neural network using this particular kind of learning by reward and… and extinction by not so much punishment, but just by not rewarding it. And we discovered that those particular kinds of neural networks could learn all sorts of interesting and useful things.

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: England, Seymour Papert

Duration: 1 minute, 19 seconds

Date story recorded: 29-31 Jan 2011

Date story went live: 13 May 2011