Well before the advent of the microprocessor and the supercomputer, Prof. Minsky, a computer science educator at M.I.T., laid the foundation for the field of artificial intelligence by demonstrating the possibilities of imparting common-sense reasoning to computers.
Professor Minsky’s scientific accomplishments spanned a variety of disciplines. He designed and built some of the first visual scanners and mechanical hands with tactile sensors, advances that influenced modern robotics. In 1951 he built the first randomly wired neural network learning machine, which he called Snarc. And in 1956, while at Harvard, he invented and built the first confocal scanning microscope, an optical instrument with superior resolution and image quality still in wide use in the biological sciences.