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by M.G. Siegler


The AI superstars at Google, Facebook, Apple—they all studied under this guy

Speaking of fascinating people, this profile of Geoffrey Hinton by Katrina Onstad is worth your time. I mean, just look at his lineage:

Hinton has said that when he was growing up, his mother gave him two choices: “Be an academic or be a failure.” His family tree is branch-breakingly weighted with scientists. His great-great-grandfather was George Boole, founder of Boolean logic, familiar to anyone who has done a “Boolean search.” One of George Boole’s sons-in-law was Charles Howard Hinton, Geoffrey’s great-grandfather, a mathematician and sci-fi writer who coined the concept of a “tesseract” (a four-dimensional object we can see in the 3-D world as a cube—well known to all readers of the classic children’s novel A Wrinkle in Time), and who ended up in the U.S. after being run out of Victorian England for bigamy. His son, Geoffrey’s grandfather, settled in Mexico—so there is a Mexican Hinton branch. Geoffrey Hinton’s middle name is Everest—as in the geographer Everest, his great-great-grandmother’s uncle, namesake of the mountain—and his father’s cousin was Joan Hinton, a nuclear physicist who helped out on the Manhattan Project and lived in China during the Cultural Revolution. Her father invented the jungle gym.



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