a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

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

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed 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.


'The current climate crisis clouds visions of the future'


My relationship with Richard Feynman
Marvin Minsky Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

My relation to Feynman was very much like the relation with Shannon, namely, we shared the same interest in... in gadgets and ideas so... right, we never actually worked on the same thing, but it would be fantastic to have a conversation with him and come away buzzing with... oh, how come I never thought about that, and why didn’t... I don't know what to say. I mean the number of hours we spent together really wasn’t very large, but every... every encounter would... would leave a series of echoes and... again, if I ever thought about a physics question, then I might say: 'What would Feynman say about this?' But, of course, because of those wonderful books that his friends put together from his lectures, you also could usually find... find... what did Feynman say about this? So, they’re these tapes and records and... what’s the name of the...?

[Q] The Feynman Lectures.

The Feynman Lectures. And I’d written a paper about a theory of discrete physics, which was partly based on some of the ideas about cellular automata that Fredkin had. And, Feynman liked those a lot. And so, that’s one chapter in one... one of the books of essays. So, we talked about that a little bit. And it always ended up saying... he would be saying: 'I really should be working on cellular automata... because I don’t believe you can pack an infinite amount of information into a finite amount of space. There’s something... something a little bit wrong with modern physics.' But he said: 'First I have to fix quantum chromodynamics, and I’ve almost got it.'

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: The Feynman Lectures, Richard Feynman, Claude Shannon, Edward Fredkin

Duration: 2 minutes, 26 seconds

Date story recorded: 29-31 Jan 2011

Date story went live: 13 May 2011