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CfB Bureau

Marvin Minsky died in Boston on January 24, 2016. Photo:

When the pioneering artificial intelligence theorist Marvin Minsky died recently, thought it would be appropriate to ask for an obituary from one of his virtual descendants: Wordsmith, the automated news-writing bot from the company Automated Insights.

“Yes, sure, it’s only a near-analogy. Wordsmith isn’t exactly an AI. It takes structured data—stuff that fits into a spreadsheet—and fits it into templates of increasing complexity. But Minsky was always interested in the differences and similarities between human and machine cognition, and arguably Wordsmith is cogitating every bit as hard as human reporters do on deadline,” said

It also recalled the golden age of newspapers, when obituary writers were often masters of craft, reproducing bits from The New York Times obit for Minsky, written by Glenn Rifkin.

Well, to have a look at what the machine came up with, click here

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