Pioneering computer scientist Marvin Minsky dies at 88

Marvin Minsky, pictured in 2008, died Sunday of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Story highlights

  • Marvin Minsky was co-founder of MIT's artificial intelligence lab
  • He created the modern "vision of artificial intelligence," MIT professor says

(CNN)Marvin Minsky, the pioneering mathematician and computer scientist whose contributions to artificial intelligence rank him among the leaders in his field, has died, MIT confirmed Tuesday.

He was 88.
The cause of his death Sunday was a cerebral hemorrhage, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The co-founder of MIT's artificial intelligence laboratory and author of the influential books "The Society of Mind" and "The Emotion Machine," Minsky is widely credited as one of the fathers of artificial intelligence whose influence extended to the varied fields of optics, computer languages, robotics and psychology.
"Marvin Minsky helped create the vision of artificial intelligence as we know it today," Daniela Rus, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, said in a statement. "The challenges he defined are still driving our quest for intelligent machines and inspiring researchers to push the boundaries in computer science."
In 1986's "The Society of Mind," he explored the foundations of intelligence, arguing, among other things, that it arises from the interaction of non-intelligent processes he called "agents."
"Each mental agent by itself can only do some simple thing that needs no mind or thought at all," he wrote in the book. "Yet when we join these agents together in societies -- in certain very special ways -- this leads to true intelligence."
The book itself was written as 270 one-page interconnected chapters, mirroring the theory itself.