Friday, March 21, 2008

Blog comment from Marvin Minsky

For a blog author such as me, fascinated by computers and inspired by the great pioneers in this domain, receiving a comment from MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] Professor Marvin Minsky is like a humble political journalist getting a message from a head of state. Marvin Minsky's interesting comment is attached to my post entitled Death in Sri Lanka of a visionary [display]. It's amusing to think that Minsky, whom we imagine as a specialist in abstract computer-science domains, actually helped to design the arms and hands of the space-pod manipulator in Stanley Kubrick's fabulous film 2001: A Space Odyssey. MIT is truly a melting-pot for eclectic academics with engineering skills.

Minsky's post to my blog includes a copy of his exchange of personal email with Arthur C Clarke, whose reply to Minsky was written on February 2, 2008. In reading these moving words, I have the impression that I'm eavesdropping on a simple conversation between old friends... who happen to be two of the greatest and most exciting thinkers of our times.

Minsky's email to Arthur C Clarke mentions "a big new book". He is referring to The Emotion Machine. I intend to refer in detail to this fascinating AI [artificial intelligence] opus in forthcoming posts.

Meanwhile, I would like to thank Marvin Minsky for his congratulations concerning my recent French naturalization.

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