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The next J Robert Oppenheimer?


Fieldston School
Marvin Minsky Scientist
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I went to the Fieldston School from, I think, fourth grade on.  We… we were, we lived in New York City, downtown – 86th Street – in the first… my first few years.  And apparently I had a high IQ, and so for one year or half a year I was in a special school called PS 500, which was for more precocious children.  And then we went… moved to Riverdale in New York, and I was in a public school for either a half a year or a year, and… I don’t remember that very clearly, except occasionally there were bullies.  And then for the next five years or so I was in Fieldston School, which was a wonderful place, and I… I didn’t feel particularly exceptional at any time because I had four or five friends who were… could understand everything I was trying to understand and maybe more, maybe less, but it was a community of four or five friends who were all on the same level.

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: Fieldston School, New York, PS 500, Riverdale

Duration: 1 minute, 36 seconds

Date story recorded: 29-31 Jan 2011

Date story went live: 09 May 2011