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What was Stanley Kubrick like?


Stanley Kubrick forgets he made Dr Strangelove
Marvin Minsky Scientist
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OK, well anyway, one day many years later, he called up and we were talking about the... the AI movie, and... but I asked him what else he was doing and he said: 'Well I'm just... I’ve just been very worried about the world political situation,' and he said: 'Do you know that the Americans and Russians agreed to cut the number of atomic bombs from 40,000 to 20,000 recently?' And... and he said: 'This is really pathetic because it can’t really make any differences as long as they all have enough to destroy the world and...'  He said: 'I wish... can’t anybody get through to them to realize they’ve got to... do something much more effective than that?' And there was a long silence and then I said: 'Well, many years ago you made that movie called Dr Strangelove, which explained that just more clearly than anybody could possibly do, and if that doesn’t work, I don't know what would. There was another long silence and he said: 'Oh, I forgot about that.' I just... I just love this true story because it had these two long silences.

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: Dr Strangelove, Stanley Kubrick

Duration: 1 minute, 39 seconds

Date story recorded: 29-31 Jan 2011

Date story went live: 12 May 2011