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Met. We would also appreciate your feedback and suggestions about programs you've attended A selection of Audio Guide content is also available for free on. The Met's website. Learn more at .. Mr. and Mrs. Marvin H. Schein, Diane and Dorothy. Brooks Foundation, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies,. Jane and Frances . ington invited me to co-teach a course called “Computer Vision for Computer story, in , Marvin Minsky at MIT asked his undergraduate . Zimmerman, and Knowles ; Horn and Brooks , ), the point around which to rotate to capture a parallax-free panorama (see Section ). Nicky Romero Puts an Uplifting House Spin on Martin Garrix's “Dreamer” and .. Free. Third Party. Gone (feat. Marvin Brooks) - JLV Remix. Maan On.
Marvin is the only person I know who seriously asked these questions, and he spent much of his life trying to answer them. What process did he use to do that? Marvin always said that the world was divided into two kinds of people, composers and improvisers. He was definitely an improviser. This showed in the very unconventional way he presented lectures and public discussions, never prepared in any conventional way, slides and transparencies seemingly placed in random and surprising order, but always brilliantly spontaneous and coherently profound.
And this was one of the great pleasures of being around Marvin. He lived to think, did much of that thinking out loud, and a lot of that thinking was around music. He often started in the style of Bach or Beethoven, but branched out in ways that were purely Minsky-esque. Well, this chord could go here or here, why not there? Gee, there are a lot of different layers going on now; what would Bach have done.
Marvin improvised in similarly creative fashion when thinking about why music matters and what it means. Does music use more different parts of our brain than any other activity? Could one of the functions of music be to coordinate these different parts of the brain? Does music allow us to practice modulating our emotions on an intensified, compressed time scale?
Does music allow us to practice thinking itself—comparing, evaluating, following, deciding—while liberating us from the real world consequences of being wrong?
Is music in fact the best medium for showing us that emotion is just another form of thinking? Being around Marvin meant being invited into this playful world of audacious exploration, sharing his ego-less passion to understand, witnessing his courage at realizing that with each answer there would only be more questions.
Marvin loved music, but he sure did take it seriously. And although he was the gentlest and kindest of men, certain things did make him angry. Wasting time without thinking was especially unforgivable. As he once said to me: Marvin looked for music that made him think, that connected with bigger ideas about life, and that opened up new horizons.
Generally he did not find this in popular, commercial music, although there were exceptions such as The Beatles and U2. He got to know and admire Bono and The Edge and attended many of their concerts, always intrigued with how—as Bono had told him—the group carefully linked songs through common tempi and rhythmic units, to create continuity and to build tension over an entire live show.
One of my most powerful memories of Marvin is from a birthday party of mine that Marvin attended two years ago when his health was just starting to fail. It was one of those big birthdays, so our 18th century wooden barn just outside of Boston was filled with friends and family, and there was much hubbub.
About halfway through the gathering, Marvin asked if he could play me something and I said of course; the whole group crammed into the smaller part of my barn, where my keyboard is located.
Unlike his usual improvisations, which often took place in parallel with multiple other activities, this one silenced the room and kept us riveted for 20 minutes or so. When Marvin finished, we all knew that we had heard something very special, full of joyful, inventive spontaneity but also—I suspect—having been carefully planned by Marvin ahead of time to produce the coherent, probing, moving result. Improvisation and composition, emotion and thinking, perfectly united. Beethoven could not have done it better.
Seymour Papert and I had rented a bungalow on Plum Island. Marvin would visit, sometimes for a day, sometimes for two or three, sometimes for a few hours. It depended on how the conversation went. Our bungalow had one large work room. A table was pushed up against a bank of windows that looked out to a porch that faced the sea. Seymour and Marvin usually worked by talking on the porch outside my window. I had a book deadline to meet, but when Marvin visited, I found it hard to not eavesdrop.
It was the interaction of the agents that made the difference. The idea was compelling. But equally compelling was how Marvin and Seymour worked. Here is how I remember it: Marvin would declare an idea as though it were a fact. But the tone was deceptive.
The declaration was really an invitation to have the idea talked through. Otherwise put, it was ready for Seymour. So Seymour would start to talk and then Marvin would pick it up again.
After a while, Seymour would cook and everyone would eat. And then, the improved idea would come out again for more polishing. Finally, there came a moment, as though by the mutual decision of the two friends, when the carefully nurtured idea was up for deconstruction.
Then, together, Seymour and Marvin would cart away the weak parts. Or discard the whole. Or salvage a small bit of writing for another bit of theory-making. It was a way of working that struck me as exactly the opposite of the kind of collaboration I was most familiar with from graduate school.
Gary Marcus Professor of Psychology, Director NYU Center for Language and Music; Author, Guitar Zero I knew Marvin only slightly, but always stood in awe of him; the work he did in inventing the confocal microscope, essentially a side project, is more than most of us could ever hope to do in a career.
His early collaborator John McCarthy is the only other person I've met who could claim to have invented an entire field. Marvin was also, by far, the most curious adult I have ever met. People in the field of neural networks nowadays better known as deep learning are almost never fair to Marvin. Most of them at least over a certain age are bitter about Marvin's book Perceptron co-written with Seymour Papert. Minsky and Papert threw an unwarranted bucket of cold water on the incipient field of neural networks, widely viewed as slaying the field, prematurely.
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But people always tell the story wrong. The usual story is that Marvin claimed that you could never learn anything interesting aka nonlinear from neural networks. What Minsky and Papert really showed is that you couldn't guarantee—prove—that neural networks with hidden layers would converge on a correct solution, rather than getting stuck in a local minimum.
In their objection still holds—people's networks have gotten deeper and deeper, but Minsky's math is still correct. Just this morning I went to a talk where a deep learning guru acknowledged that a people in that field still don't really understand why their models work as they well as they do and b they still can't really guarantee much of anything if you test them in circumstances that differ from the circumstances on which they were trained.
To many neural network people, Minsky represents the evil empire. But almost half a century later they still haven't fully faced up to his challenges. While he is of course widely recognized as one of the founders of the field of Artificial Intelligence AIhis views were often at odds with the majority of the AI community.
For many decades, and even today, AI was plagued by what some of us refer to as "physics envy. Marvin constantly reminded us that the real solution was likely to be a lot more complex. I suspect that gradually the field will come to align with his views, recognizing that his thoughts and writings have a timeless, deep quality. His genius was so self-evident that it defined "awesome. There were a dozen or so well known speakers.
Marvin and I were two of them. When I spoke, Marvin was in the back of the large lecture hall.
As soon as I was finished speaking, Marvin ran to the front and started patting me on the head. Marvin behaved towards me as if I was his prodigy. People assumed I had been his student.
In a sense I was. He had a combination of brilliance and child-like enthusiasm that I loved. I wanted to be him, but was not capable of it. My son was He was an avid Mets fan and he just had to go. I got tickets somehow and asked to stay with Marvin since he lived rather near Fenway Park.
He made fun of my son, when we left for the game.
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My son had on a Mets uniform. When we came back from the game we discovered Marvin had watched the game on TV so he could discuss it with us. He was always present and giving in that way. In the '90s Marvin was unhappy at MIT. I offered him a position at Northwestern.
When I knew I was going to see Marvin, I started thinking the way an athlete thinks before a big match. I was mentally preparing myself for combat.
It was combat I relished, done with respect and brilliance and humor. I will miss that and I will miss him. Musician, Scientist, Educator I'm so sad to lose Marvin: I finally reached Brookline, where I moved into the attic of a funky mansion on Ivy Street: I felt like I had immediately been adopted.Marvin Brooks "Meet One" (live studio performance)
Marvin treated his children like students and students like his children. The attic was not air conditioned, and it was sweltering hot in late August when I arrived. I tried to go to sleep. There was scribbling on the wall by the bed—little doodles and quips in pencil.
I think Shannon had written something. Clarke had scribbled a bit. So I went downstairs and grabbed a book and plopped down in the couch. Something crunched under my butt. It was a sheaf of paper, a draft printout of his work in progress, Society of Mind. I skipped to the end a bad habit with me, wanting to see how it all worked out and started reading. I was blown away by the Acknowledgments. And gosh, the range of people whose influences he took time to appreciate.
Marvin loved ideas, and he cherished people who believed in the invention of ideas and the idea of inventions. Playing with ideas was the story of his wonderful, storied life. I'm sure the outpouring in days ahead will be extraordinary.
You might like to take a moment, and read the Postscript to Society of Mind. The book is strangely overwhelming, with charms on every page. But the Acknowledgments are to me the most beautiful part. Makes me wish our own Societies of People were as lovingly looked after.
When Marvin was a student, he said, there appeared to him to be only three interesting problems in the world—or in the world of science, at least. The problems of physics seemed profound and solvable. It might have been nice to do physics. But the problem of intelligence seemed hopelessly profound. I tiptoed down to the kitchen to raid the fridge for a midnight snack. I opened the door. The fridge was packed with packages in brown butcher paper.
It was all meat. Some of it looked like body parts. In about a nanosecond I lost my appetite and went back upstairs. Marvin noodling on the piano at EG. That was a birthday hat: The next morning I got up the courage to ask Marvin what the hell he was keeping in his fridge. You know, the Iditarod champion? This is meat for her sled dog team. He had such an original way of seeing our possible futures. In one talk I heard him give, he attributed all the problems facing humanity to an excess of biomass.
He proposed three ways technology could help: The artist Vic Muniz, himself a master of surprise, responded instantly from the back of the room: I would like to propose a second Turing test—the Minsky test—in which a machine would have to convince the respondent that it was an embodiment of Marvin.
The last time I saw Marvin, just a few months ago, he was hanging out in his wonderful house, front door unlocked, students dropping by unannounced. One young MIT student had worked for a summer in a circus, and naturally a trapeze hung from the vaulted ceiling.
She slid upwards like a cat and swung about as we all argued about AI, just like it was forty years ago. I remembered when that trapeze was being installed, and I was the young student. Why was it hung there?
I don't remember, but it was also when the tuba arrived in its place under a piano, now obscured by books, telescope parts, many wonderful things. On my way to see Marvin that night I got a call from a mutual friend. Marvin said, "What you're doing, criticizing AI, it's perfect.
If you're wrong in the big picture, you'll make AI better. There's a lot of terrible work, after all. If you're right in the big picture, then you're right. His particular way of characterizing AI consumed a million imaginations. Marvin's narrative about the future of machines is the thing people are afraid of.
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But that's a sideshow. The main event is that Marvin's way of thinking about people and our emotions has more or less replaced Freud's mythology. Pixar's Inside Out, for instance, feels and even looks like Marvin's lectures from decades ago. He used to ask that we imagine our brains painting colors on memories of things or events so that we might react to them with a given emotion, for instance.
And all this might be taken as an aside from his work at the foundations of computer science. And his technical contributions to so many other fields. The latest Virtual Reality optics have been influenced by one of Marvin's inventions, for instance: Why was Marvin so generous to me? I gave him grief. I disagreed with him at every turn. I wasn't ever his student, officially, and yet he mentored me, inspired me, put serious time into helping me.
His kindness was total, a singularity of kindness. He came out to visit in California in the s, when I was in my twenties and Virtual Reality was getting tolerable. He sat in a headset—was it a simulation of being inside a hippocampus with neurons firing? Everyone knows Marvin improvised at the piano in the approximate style of Bach—elaborate counterpoint—but he never ever fell into a rut. He was just as fascinated by the obscure musical instruments I brought by, from around the world.
Since everything was always new to Marvin, even Bach's style was always brand new. Marvin lacked the capacity to become jaded, bored, or fall into any state of mind shy of being startled by the constant novelty of reality. I remember Marvin talking to Margaret, his daughter, and me about his take on Alan Watts. It's hard to imagine a philosopher who might seem more distant from Marvin than the guru-like, Asian-leaning Watts, and yet Marvin thought Watts was remarkably wise about death.
I recall Marvin discussing Watt's idea that reincarnation is the wave way of interpreting people instead of the particle way. Not that Marvin, or Watts, for that matter, accepted the notion of individual survival through incarnations. Instead a person's properties or patterns would eventually reappear, approximately, in new combinations in fresh sets of people. I remember once we were walking near some shops on a spring day in Cambridge and we came upon an infant in a stroller. Marvin starting talking about "it" as if the baby were a device, a gadget, and I completely knew he was doing so to get a rise out of me.
He guessed I was the one who'd get all huffy and thus prove that I was the slave to my ideas. Marvin's warmth shown through so radiantly that the rouse didn't work. Marvin linked humor with wisdom.
Humor was his brain's way of noticing a hole to fill, a way to be wiser. I always think of him finding a way to make each moment a little funnier, a little wiser, a little warmer, a little kinder. He never failed at that, so far as I ever saw. That's how I came to know Marvin. During his teens Melvin Kaminsky officially changed his name to Mel Brooks because it was more consumer-friendly name. Around this time, he changed his professional name to "Mel Brooks"  from his mother's maiden name Brookman after being confused with the Borscht Belt trumpet player Max Kaminsky.
He also began acting in summer stock in Red Bank, New Jersey, and did some radio work. Caesar's Hour ran from until Reiner would play the straight man interviewer who would set Brooks up as anything from a Tibetan monk to an astronaut.
As Reiner explained, "In the evening, we'd go to a party and I'd pick a character for him to play.
I never told him what it was going to be. Kenneth Tynan saw the comedy duo perform at a party in and wrote that Brooks "was the most original comic improvisor I had ever seen. Their performances led to the release of the comedy album Years with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks that sold over a million copies in At one point, when Brooks had financial and career struggles, the record sales from the Year Old Man were his chief source of income.
Interviewed by Dick Cavett in a series of ads, the Brewmaster in a German accent, as opposed to the Year Old Man's Yiddish accent said he was inside the original Trojan horse and "could've used a six-pack of fresh air. Brooks wrote the play with lyrics by Lee Adamsand music by Charles Strouse. The show starred Ray Bolger as a southern science professor at a large university who uses the principles of engineering on the college's football team and the team begins to win games.
The show was directed by Joshua Loganwhose script doctored the second act and added a gay subtext to the plot. The show ran for 80 performances and received two Tony Award nominations. InBrooks was involved in the animated short film The Critica satire of arty, esoteric cinema, conceived by Brooks and directed by Ernest Pintoff.
Brooks supplied running commentary as the baffled moviegoer trying to make sense of the obscure visuals. Brooks explains, "I was sick of looking at all those nice sensible situation comedies. They were such distortions of life I wanted to do a crazy, unreal comic-strip kind of thing about something besides a family.
No one had ever done a show about an idiot before. I decided to be the first. This series ran from untilalthough Brooks was not involved with its production after the pilot episode. Get Smart was highly rated for most of its production and won seven Emmy Awards including Outstanding Comedy Series in and Early career as a film director[ edit ] For several years, Brooks had been toying with a bizarre and unconventional idea about a musical comedy of Adolf Hitler. Brooks explored the idea as a novel and a play before finally writing a script.
Levine and Sidney Glazierand made his first feature film, The Producersin The Producers was so brazen in its satire that major studios would not touch it, nor would many exhibitors. Brooks finally found an independent distributor who released it as an art film, a specialized attraction. The Producers became a smash underground hit, first on the nationwide college circuitthen in revivals and on home video. Brooks later turned it into a musicalwhich became hugely successful on Broadway, receiving an unprecedented twelve Tony awards.
Loosely based on a Russian novel The Twelve Chairs by Ilf and Petrov about greedy materialism in post-revolutionary Russia, the film stars Ron MoodyFrank Langellaand Dom DeLuise as three men individually searching for a fortune in diamonds hidden in a set of 12 antique chairs.
Brooks makes a cameo appearance as an alcoholic ex-serf who "yearns for the regular beatings of yesteryear. The film received poor reviews and was not financially successful.
Eventually, Brooks was hired as director for what would become Blazing Saddleshis third film. This film is a satire on the Western film genre and references older films such as Destry Rides AgainHigh NoonOnce Upon a Time in the Westand The Treasure of the Sierra Madreas well as a surreal scene towards the end of the film referencing the extravagant musicals of Busby Berkeley.
Despite mixed reviews, the film was a success with younger audiences. It was nominated for three Academy Awards: The film won the Writers Guild of America Award for " Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen " and in it was deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Brooks has said that the film "has to do with love more than anything else. I mean when that black guy rides into that Old Western town and even a little old lady says 'Up yours, nigger!
So it's really the story of that heart being mended. After the filming of Blazing Saddles was completed, Wilder and Brooks began writing the script for Young Frankenstein and shot the film in the spring of Brooks' voice can be heard three times, first as the wolf howl when the characters are on their way to the castle, second as the voice of Victor Frankenstein when the characters discover the laboratory, and third as the cat sound when Gene Wilder accidentally throws a dart out of the window in a scene with Kenneth Mars.
Composer John Morris again provided the music score and Universal monsters film special effects veteran Kenneth Strickfaden worked on the film. Young Frankenstein was the third-highest-grossing film domestically ofjust behind Blazing Saddles.