Marvin Minsky

Updated: 09/15/2017 by Computer Hope

Marvin MinskyName: Marvin Minsky

Born: August 9, 1927, in New York City, USA

Computer-related contributions

  • American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and the author of several texts on AI and philosophy.
  • Co-founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AI laboratory.
  • Isaac Asimov described Minsky as one of only two people he would admit were more intelligent than he was, the other being Carl Sagan.
  • Wrote the book Perceptrons (with Seymour Papert), which became the foundational work in the analysis of artificial neural networks.
  • An adviser on the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and is referred to in the movie and book.
  • Inventions include the first head-mounted graphical display (1963) and the confocal microscope (1957, a predecessor to today's widely used confocal laser scanning microscope).

Significant publications

  • The Emotion Machine, Simon and Schuster (2006).
  • The Society of Mind, Simon and Schuster (1987).
  • Communication with Alien Intelligence, (1985).
  • Perceptrons, with Seymour Papert, MIT Press (1969).

Honors and awards

  • Turing Award (1969).
  • Japan Prize (1990).
  • IJCAI Award for Research Excellence (1991).
  • Benjamin Franklin Medal (2001).


"You don't understand anything until you learn it more than one way"

"In general, we are least aware of what our minds do best"