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The history of the laws of physics


Unexpected problems with language machines
Marvin Minsky Scientist
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But we ran into some strange unexpected problems. For example, in the... in that wonderful period starting in the 1960s we had a couple of programs that were really, seemed... that... we had a couple of programs that seemed quite promising as steps towards understanding language and making machines that could communicate with people about ordinary things. Of course it was easy to get computers to communicate about highly technical things, because in a sense, things that are highly technical and advanced are usually much simpler than the things that you encounter as an ordinary person in the ordinary world.

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: 1960s

Duration: 51 seconds

Date story recorded: 29-31 Jan 2011

Date story went live: 12 May 2011