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Problems with new theories of psychology


The Society of Fellows was a wonderful environment
Marvin Minsky Scientist
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It was a wonderful environment because it was… well the… the senior… it had about eight senior Fellows, and about 30… 24, I think there were six or eight per year, so… maybe eight, so there were about, somewhere around 30 junior Fellows, and a third of them would change each year because it was a three year Fellowship. But the incredible thing was that it had been set up by President Lowell many years ago, so that they had the key to the University. So one year I had a biology lab, and one year I had a physics lab, and every time I changed my mind about something I could do it, so it was… no… no requirements, no exams, no nothing… no obligations.

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 Harvard Society of Fellows, Harvard University, Abbott Lawrence Lowell

Duration: 58 seconds

Date story recorded: 29-31 Jan 2011

Date story went live: 09 May 2011