I met him once in my life and heard him speak twice. At one point as a youngster in the late 80's I was deeply fascinated with his work on artificial intelligence. He was a character. When AI fell into a bit of a slump, (and in order to be taken seriously you had to call the next steps Expert Systems), I am sure he was as prickly as could be. But at the same time I would have loved to hear his views on Deep Blue and Watson. I suppose I will have to look those up.
Here is a snippet from an article today in Scientific America:
""Why are you asking me this question?" Minsky growled. The concern that scientists will run out of things to do is "pitiful," he said. "There's plenty to do." We humans may well be approaching our limits as scientists, but we will soon create machines much smarter than us that can continue doing science.
But that would be machine science, not human science, I said.
"You're a racist, in other words," Minsky said, his great domed forehead purpling. I scanned his face for signs of irony, but found none. "I think the important thing for us is to grow," Minsky continued, "not to remain in our own present stupid state." We humans, he added, are just "dressed up chimpanzees." Our task is not to preserve present conditions but to evolve, and create beings smarter than us."