Most people consider Marvin Minsky to be one of the Fathers of modern Artificial Intelligence. His inventions, writings, and theories have been a powerful voice in the development of AI from its early years to today.
Marvin Minsky attended the Bronx High School of Science as well as Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts before he joined the Navy in 1944. After a year at sea, he attended Harvard University where he spent time researching physics, neurophysiology, and psychology. In the late ‘50s, he moved to MIT to investigate the use of computers in the study of human thought. While there he co-founded the MIT AI Laboratory with John McCarthy. In very little time it grew to be one of the world's leading research facilities for this up and coming branch of science. Minsky never left MIT, and as of 2006 he is the Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences there. Minsky is currently writing a book, entitled The Emotion Machine, which is due for release in 2007.
You can see more on his past accomplishments and current projects at http://web.media.mit.edu/~minsky/
1951: Built the very first neural network simulator.
1955: Invented a confocal scanning microscope, which zooms in on objects to create high-contrast 3D images
1975: Invented the concept of “frames”, which help computers find data with which they can make basic intelligent decisions
1985: Published The Society of Mind, which pioneers a theory that combines child psychology and Artificial Intelligence research. Basically, it states that intelligence does not come from any one source, but several forces interacting with each other. This allows an intelligent being to do different things. It also implies that there is no “key” to finding the source of intelligence, as there is no specific source.
Marvin Minsky has won 14 awards related to his work in AI. He holds 7 patents, including one for a hydraulic robotic arm he made for the Boston Museum of Science and a musical synthesizer. Minsky has written or collaborated on 8 books, including a science fiction thriller entitled The Turing Option, which deals with futuristic super intelligent robots. He has also written a computer science textbook and several manuscripts on AI theories.
You don't understand anything until you learn it more than one way.Marvin Minsky