Oliver Gordon Selfridge (1926 - 2008)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: London, Greater London, UK
Death: Died in Boston, MA, USA
Cause of death: injuries suffered in a fall at his home in Belmont, Massachusetts
Occupation: computer scientist, "father of machine perception"
Managed by: Michael Reid Delahunt, art teacher & lexicographer
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About Oliver Gordon Selfridge

Oliver Selfridge (1926 - 2008) was an early innovator in computer science. He is considered a founding father of artificial intelligence, and is credited with having coined the term “intelligent agents” for software programs capable of observing and responding to changes in their environment.

His 1958 paper “Pandemonium: A Paradigm for Learning,” which proposed a collection of small components dubbed “demons” that together would allow machines to recognize patterns, was a landmark contribution to the emerging science of machine learning.

Though London-born, he did his most significant work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was among the organisers of the Dartmouth Conference of 1956, the first public meeting on artificial intelligence (AI), it introduced the term into general use.

"I consider Selfridge to be a very key player," Nils Nilsson, an emeritus professor of computer science at Stanford and former head of the university's computer science department, said of the early development of artificial intelligence.

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Obituary (#1) for Oliver Selfridge:

Oliver Selfridge, an Early Innovator in Artificial Intelligence, Dies at 82

By JOHN MARKOFF Published: December 3, 2008

Oliver G. Selfridge, an innovator in early computer science and artificial intelligence, died on Wednesday in Boston. He was 82.

The cause was injuries suffered in a fall on Sunday at his home in nearby Belmont, Mass., said his companion, Edwina L. Rissland.

Credited with coining the term “intelligent agents,” for software programs capable of observing and responding to changes in their environment, Mr. Selfridge theorized about far more, including devices that would not only automate certain tasks but also learn through practice how to perform them better, faster and more cheaply.

Eventually, he said, machines would be able to analyze operator instructions to discern not just what users requested but what they actually wanted to occur, not always the same thing.

His 1958 paper “Pandemonium: A Paradigm for Learning,” which proposed a collection of small components dubbed “demons” that together would allow machines to recognize patterns, was a landmark contribution to the emerging science of machine learning.

An early enthusiast about the potential of interactive computing, Mr. Selfridge saw his ideas summarized in a famous 1968 paper, “The Computer as a Communications Device,” written by J. C. R. Licklider and Robert W. Taylor and published in the journal Science and Technology.

Honoring Mr. Selfridge, the authors proposed a device they referred to as Oliver, an acronym for On-Line Interactive Vicarious Expediter and Responder. Oliver was one of the clearest early descriptions of a computerized personal assistant.

With four other colleagues, Mr. Selfridge helped organize a 1956 conference at Dartmouth that led directly to creation of the field of artificial intelligence.

“Oliver was one of the founding fathers of the discipline of artificial intelligence,” said Eric Horvitz, a Microsoft researcher who is president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. “He has been well known in the field for his early and prescient writings on the challenge of endowing machines with the ability to learn to recognize patterns.”

Oliver Gordon Selfridge, a grandson of H. Gordon Selfridge, the American who founded Selfridges department store in London, was born in London on May 10, 1926. The family lost control of the business during the Depression and emigrated to the United States at the onset of World War II.

Mr. Selfridge attended Middlesex School in Concord, Mass., and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he graduated at 19 with a degree in mathematics. After service in the Navy, he embarked on graduate study at M.I.T. under Norbert Wiener, the pioneering theorist of computer science. He became one of Wiener’s collaborators but plunged into the working world of computer science before earning an advanced degree.

In the 1960s Mr. Selfridge was associate director for Project MAC, an early time-shared computing research project at M.I.T. He did much of this work at the M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory, a federally financed research center for security technology. He then worked at Bolt, Beranek & Newman, now BBN Technologies, which develops computer and communications-related technology. In 1983 he became chief scientist for the telecommunications company GTE.

He began advising the nation’s national security leaders in the 1950s, among other tasks serving on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Security Agency.

His first marriage, to Allison Gilman Selfridge, and his second, to Katherine Bull Selfridge, ended in divorce. Besides his companion, his survivors include their daughter, Olivia Selfridge Rissland of Belmont; three children from his first marriage, Peter Selfridge of Bethesda, Md.; Mallory Selfridge of Eastford, Conn.; and Caroline Selfridge of Saratoga, Calif.; a sister, Jennifer Selfridge MacLeod of Princeton Junction, N.J.; and six grandchildren.

Along with producing scholarly papers and technical books, Mr. Selfridge wrote “Fingers Come in Fives,” “All About Mud” and “Trouble With Dragons,” all books for children. At his death he was working on a series of books he hoped might one day become an arithmetic equivalent of summer reading projects for schoolchildren.

Mr. Selfridge never stopped theorizing, speaking and writing on what he saw as the future of artificial intelligence.

“I want an agent that can learn and adapt as I might,” he once told a meeting organized by I.B.M. Such an agent would “infer what I would want it to do, from the updated purposes it has learned from working for me,” he went on, and “do as I want rather than the silly things I might say.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: December 6, 2008 An obituary on Thursday about Oliver G. Selfridge, an innovator in early artificial intelligence, misspelled the surname of the pioneer theorist of computer science with whom he studied at M.I.T. He was Norbert Wiener, not Weiner.

Downloaded Feb. 2011 from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/us/04selfridge.html

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Obituary (#2) for Oliver Selfridge:

Computer scientist paving the way for artificial intelligence

   * Andrew Spark
   * The Guardian, Wednesday 17 December 2008

Oliver Selfridge, who has died aged 82, was known as the "father of machine perception" for his work as a pioneer of computing and as a researcher into artificial intelligence. Though London-born, he did his most significant work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was among the organisers of the Dartmouth Conference of 1956 at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. The first public meeting on artificial intelligence (AI), it introduced the term into general use.

The idea of AI, that a mechanical "brain" might some day be capable of "learning" from its experiences and evolving into a superior form, has been regarded by some as the holy grail of computer science, though in Hollywood it is more often portrayed as its nemesis. It was only with the invention of the programmable digital computer in the 1940s that it became practical to postulate how such a machine might be designed, and the ways in which its intelligence could be assessed.

The Turing test is based on the premise that if a machine can hold a conversation with a person (using a keyboard and screen) and the person is unable to tell whether he or she is conversing with a person or a machine, then the computer can be regarded as "thinking". Alan Turing, who died in 1954, himself believed that machines would be powerful enough to pass the test by the year 2000. Current predictions put that date at somewhere in the third decade of this century.

Computers are now powerful enough to fool some of the people some of the time, and have been able to beat humans at chess for several years. Their ability to do this is based upon speed and number-crunching ability; the computers of today are no more intelligent than Colossus, at Bletchley Park, the British codebreaking organisation in the second world war.

Selfridge's early work in the field of pattern recognition was detailed in his 1959 paper Pandemonium: a Paradigm for Learning, a classic in the field of AI. Recognising that previous attempts to model human thought had been less than successful, he introduced Pandemonium as a learning model that was able to improve itself over time in its task of recognising dots and dashes of morse code.

The paper also introduced the notion of parallel processing, the machine being able to process more than one piece of information at the same time - a concept that is fundamental to human thought patterns. Pan-demon-ium proposes specialised "demons" with single tasks, which assess the data in a manner that improves with time. Selfridge was able to demonstrate the distinguishing of dots and dashes in morse code and to recognise 10 hand-drawn characters. It is, in fact, an early description of a neural network. Pandemonium proved to be such a successful model of human pattern recognition that it has been adopted and adapted for use in cognitive psychology.

Some of Selfridge's ideas were summarised in The Computer as a Communications Device (1968), a paper by JCR Licklider and Robert W Taylor in the journal Science and Technology. Honouring Selfridge, the authors referred to an Oliver (on-line interactive vicarious expediter and responder) - an early description of a computerised personal assistant.

Selfridge, who was a grandson of Harry Gordon Selfridge, the American founder of Selfridges department store, London, was educated at Malvern college, Worcestershire. At the outbreak of the second world war, the family emigrated to the US and Oliver went to Middlesex school in Concord, Massachusetts. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in mathematics from MIT in 1945. After service in the navy, he returned there as a graduate student, and studied under Norbert Wiener, the founder of the science of cybernetics. Selfridge was one of the early reviewers of Wiener's Cybernetics (1948).

Much of Selfridge's career was spent at MIT's Lincoln laboratory where, as associate director of Project MAC in the 1960s, he worked on multi-access computing. He then went to Bolt, Beranek & Newman, now BBN Technologies, which develops computer and communications-related technology. In 1983 he became the chief scientist for the telecommunications company GTE, and retired in 1993.

He served on the advisory board of the US National Security Agency, the government's cryptographic agency, where he chaired the data-processing panel. Along with scholarly papers and technical books, he also wrote several books for children.

His marriages to his first wife, Allison, and second wife, Katherine, ended in divorce. He is survived by his partner, Edwina Rissland, their daughter Olivia, his children from his first marriage, Peter, Mallory and Caroline, his sister, Jennifer, and six grandchildren.

• Oliver Gordon Selfridge, computer scientist, born 10 May 1926; died 3 December 2008

Downloaded Feb 26, 2011 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/dec/17/oliver-selfridge-obituary

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Obituary (#3) for Oliver Selfridge:

Oliver G. Selfridge, student of the mind

Oliver G. Selfridge, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, was fascinated with the nature of learning. Oliver G. Selfridge, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, was fascinated with the nature of learning.

By Bryan Marquard Globe Staff / December 14, 2008

Speaking in 1992 about artificial intelligence, a field whose early days he helped shape with his thoughtful musings about the potential for machines to make decisions, Oliver G. Selfridge looked out at a meeting of like-minded computer scientists and posed this challenge:

"And what is our Holy Grail? It really is to understand the mindness of mind, to explain what makes a person behave in a human way."

Four years later, in an interview with one of his sons, Mr. Selfridge put it a different way as he explained the driving force behind his life's studies.

"The nature of learning - how it works, what it is, and what it means - has always been the primary intellectual motivation for me," he said. "That is because learning is the real mainstream of the mind. A mind without learning is not a mind at all."

Mr. Selfridge, whose 1958 paper "Pandemonium: A Paradigm for Learning" became an influential springboard for others who dove into the swift currents of artificial intelligence, died Dec. 3 in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of complications from a fall in his Belmont home a few days earlier. He was 82.

"I consider Selfridge to be a very key player," Nils Nilsson, an emeritus professor of computer science at Stanford and former head of the university's computer science department, said of the early development of artificial intelligence.

Wally Feurzeig, principal scientist at BBN Technologies in Cambridge, said simply: "Oliver was one of the founding fathers of artificial intelligence. He had, I think, considerable ideas about the area. And he was very interested in extending the area, even recently, to developing software that was more powerful and in some sense had its own purposes. Of course, these are very, very difficult issues."

In Mr. Selfridge, those difficult issues were filtered through a formidable mind. Well-read far beyond the mathematics and theory that went into his work at MIT, Lincoln Laboratory, and the telecommunications company GTE, he could casually drop into a speech about artificial intelligence quotes from the plays of William Shakespeare, the comic essays of Woody Allen, and the poetry of William Blake.

"He had a remarkable both breadth and depth of knowledge," Feurzeig said. "He knew the latitude and longitude of almost any city in the world, the heights of the mountains, the depths of the oceans. And as well as being a polymath, he was a fine mathematician."

Mr. Selfridge was also a deft cook, an able sailor, and a gardener whose yields drew envy. For many years he sang madrigals with friends, and he skied until two years ago when, at 80, he was finally old enough to ski free at the Alta resort in Utah. "He could ski without poles and carried his kids on his shoulders at first," said Edwina L. Rissland, his longtime companion, who is a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

A stickler for appearances, Mr. Selfridge dressed more formally than others on the slopes. "Even skiing he wore a tie," Rissland said. "He wore a tie and a tweed jacket unless it was below zero."

But it was the range of Mr. Selfridge's intellect and writing that always left an impression. Along with scientific papers and books, he published three children's books: "Fingers Come in Fives," "All About Mud," and "Trouble With Dragons."

"He was probably the smartest person I've ever bumped into, and he was smart in all sorts of ways," Rissland said. "He never lost his ability to look at things with really fresh eyes. He always looked at things with the perspective of a person just learning."

Mr. Selfridge was born in London and escaped England with his family during World War II, recalling in later years that the ship in front of the one on which they sailed and the ship behind them were both torpedoed.

He graduated from Middlesex School in Concord and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in mathematics, then pursued graduate studies at MIT under the tutelage of mathematician and theorist Norbert Wiener.

By the early 1950s, Mr. Selfridge was at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, and several years later he was part of Project MAC at MIT. He went on to consult for the National Security Agency, work for the Cambridge research and consulting firm Bolt Beranek & Newman (now called BBN Technologies), and to become chief scientist for GTE.

Along the way, he participated in what is known as the Dartmouth Conference, the 1956 gathering of scientists and thinkers that led to the creation of artificial intelligence.

"It was tremendously exciting, both from the point of view of computation and from the point of view of beginning to understand what a mind is," Mr. Selfridge said of the conference in the 1996 interview with his son Peter of Bethesda, Md. "How does a mind do its computation? This is a tremendously antique question, and by antique, I mean it goes back 5,000 years at least, when people were looking up at the clockwork of the heavens."

Mr. Selfridge's first two marriages, to Allison Gilman Selfridge and Katherine Bull Selfridge, ended in divorce.

Though he retired in 1993, he continued to speak at conferences, mull theories with colleagues, and write books, including an unpublished volume that he hoped would inspire children to act out poems as a way of memorizing poetry.

"Outside of his professional life, which was a great deal to him, I would say he really loved life," said his son Mallory of Eastford, Conn.

"He loved being alive, and at 82, he didn't seem like he was a day over 70. He liked single-malt Scotch, he liked playing the piano and singing, he liked sailing. And he came in third in a ping-pong contest this summer in Chappaquiddick. He had quite a wicked serve."

In addition to Rissland, their daughter, Olivia Selfridge Rissland of Belmont, and his two sons, Mr. Selfridge leaves another daughter, Caroline of Saratoga, Calif.; a sister, Jennifer Selfridge MacLeod of Princeton Junction, N.J.; four grandsons; and two granddaughters.

A service will be announced.

Source: Downloaded 2011 from Boston Globe at http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/obituaries/articles/2008/12/14/oliver_g_selfridge_student_of_the_mind/?page=2

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Obituary (#4) for Oliver Selfridge:

Oliver Selfridge, Computer Pioneer, Loved Chappy

Oliver G. Selfridge, a pioneer of computer science, died on Dec. 3 in Boston from injuries he suffered in a fall a few days earlier at his home in Belmont. He lived there with his wife Edwina Rissland and their daughter Olivia when they were not on Chappaquiddick, where Oliver had been a regular visitor for more than three decades. He enjoyed the off-seasons as much as the summers.

Oliver, who was 82 years old, was an early innovator in computer science and one of the founding fathers of artificial intelligence, the specialty that seeks both to understand human intelligence and to replicate or enhance it with computers. He was an organizer of the first public conference session on the subject in 1955, and helped organize the landmark meeting at Dartmouth the next year, which is widely regarded as the birth of the field.

The driving force behind his life’s work was his intense curiosity about how people learn and computers might be able to do so. “The nature of learning — how it works, what it is, and what it means — has always been the primary intellectual motivation for me,” he said in a 1996 interview. “For me that is because learning is the real mainstream of the mind. A mind without learning is not a mind at all.”

His early papers were on neural networks, pattern recognition and learning. His 1958 paper “Pandemonium: a Paradigm for Learning” was the first to describe the idea of autonomous agents (or “demons”) that could work together to solve problems — such as recognize patterns or letters — and to learn or adapt from their experience. The New York Times recently described this paper as the origin of the idea of independent software agents, such as personal assistants.

Oliver Gordon Selfridge was born in London on May 10, 1926, where his grandfather H. Gordon Selfridge, an American-born entrepreneur, founded the Selfridges department store. He received his early education in England, where he exhibited a prodigious talent for mathematics and languages at an early age.

His last year in England, he attended the public school Malvern College, which because of the outbreak of World War II was situated at Blenheim Palace, the monumental palace of Winston Churchill’s family near Oxford. There, Oliver and his schoolmates used Churchill’s capacious bedroom as their dorm. It was there that Oliver developed his lifelong love of music. At first he learned to play the piano because it exempted him from evening Bible readings, but he came to love the music itself, especially playing the piano and singing choral music, madrigals and lieder.

In 1940, at the very beginning of the Blitz, when Oliver was 14, he and his family emigrated to the United States. He often recalled that their Atlantic crossing was an exciting one: both the ship ahead and the one astern were torpedoed.

He attended the Middlesex School in Concord, from which he graduated in 1942. He then attended MIT, where he majored in mathematics and graduated in 1945, shortly after his 19th birthday. Like many of his classmates, he was enrolled and then commissioned as an officer through the Navy’s V12 program but because the war was ending he did not see combat. Instead he served at a variety of posts including the Pacific island of Kwajalein where he first learned to snorkel.

After his service, he returned to MIT as a graduate student of Norbert Weiner, the foremost mathematician of cybernetics and adaptive control. With his fellow graduate students and faculty colleagues including Walter Pitts and Warren McCulloch, he began what would become his life’s work, the systematic study and modeling of human intelligence.

In 1951 he joined MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and shortly became group leader of a team doing research on communications techniques, pattern recognition, command and control and interactive computing. His group did early work on machine recognition of Morse code. One of the people he hired into his group for a summer was Marvin Minsky, another founding pioneer in AI.

At this time Oliver began serving on many advisory panels to the government. He served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, was on the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Security Agency, and ran a study section at the National Institutes of Health whose goal was to foster the use of computers in medicine.

In 1963, Oliver ran the kick-off summer study for Project MAC, the first large-scale effort to develop time-sharing, and then worked on MIT’s main campus as its associate director until 1965, when he returned to Lincoln Lab. In 1975 he joined Bolt, Beranek & Newman, now BBN Technologies, where he worked on AI and communications-related technologies. In 1983, he became chief scientist at GTE Labs where he helped establish a research group that applied machine learning techniques to telecommunications.

In recent years, Oliver returned to both MIT and BBN. At MIT he held an appointment as a senior lecturer in the media lab, where he was able to collaborate once again with his lifelong colleague Marvin Minsky. At BBN, he worked on projects that ranged from developing software that learns, to a pen that could lay down a tactile trace so that blind children could explore geometry with some of the spontaneity of sighted children.

In addition to scholarly papers and books, Oliver wrote books for children: Fingers Come in Fives, All About Mud, Sticks, and Trouble With Dragons. He also wrote a set of monographs, which he called math kits, to be used over summer vacation much in the way that children use summer reading lists. Their topics and difficulties tended to grow as did Oliver and Edwina’s daughter Olivia.

At his death, he was also at work on several writing projects, including one he called How Knowledge Began based on his idea that much of human knowledge and civilization derives from our fundamental drive to understand the workings of the cosmos and our place in it. As he said in a 1992 keynote speech on AI, “And what is our Holy Grail? It really is to understand the mindness of mind, to explain what makes a person behave in a human way, to interrelate the emotions and the hungers and the logic of us with our powers and our planning and our enormous joint enterprises that constitute civilization.”

Perhaps that was one reason he treasured his time on Chappy so intensely. For Oliver, Chappy was a wonderful and precious place to observe the heavens and ponder such questions. He relished looking up at the stars from the Dike Bridge on a cold, clear night and swimming against the current at East Beach — with flippers, of course. He felt that Chappy was the closest one could come to heaven on earth.

Oliver was an enthusiastic gardener, an expert skier and an intuitively creative cook. He and Olivia and Edwina built many garden projects over the years, including a small koi pond, complete with a little island (for Olivia), and laying down paths of brick. He enjoyed reaping the harvest from the garden, like Jerusalem artichokes, whose name he liked to point out had nothing to do with biblical lands but rather the tendency of sunflowers to gyre with the sun.

In the 1950s, he was a member of the Mt. Washington Ski Patrol and patrolled the trails around Tuckerman’s Ravine. For the last 30 or so years, he and his family have made annual ski trips to Alta in Utah. An expert skier, he had long since abandoned poles the better to teach others how to ski; he taught Olivia and his three other children from a previous marriage and carried them on his shoulders when they were too young to ski on their own. Weather permitting, he dressed for the slopes with a tie and tweed jacket.

In addition to Edwina and Olivia, Oliver is survived by his sons Mallory Selfridge of Eastford, Conn., and Peter Selfridge of Bethesda, Md., and a daughter Caroline Selfridge of Saratoga, Ca., and six grandchildren. He was proud that all of his children earned advanced degrees, with Olivia just having completed her doctorate in molecular biology at Oxford.

A memorial celebration of his life is being planned for later this year. Contributions in Oliver’s memory can be made to the Chappy Fund of the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation.

Source: Downloaded Feb 2011 from the Vineyard Gazette at http://www.mvgazette.com/article.php?19854

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Birth: May 10, 1926, England Death: Dec. 3, 2008 Boston Suffolk County Massachusetts, USA

Oliver Selfridge, an Early Innovator in Artificial Intelligence, Dies at 82-

Oliver G. Selfridge, an innovator in early computer science and artificial intelligence, died on Wednesday in Boston. He was 82.

The cause was injuries suffered in a fall on Sunday at his home in nearby Belmont, Mass., said his companion, Edwina L. Rissland.

Credited with coining the term "intelligent agents," for software programs capable of observing and responding to changes in their environment, Mr. Selfridge theorized about far more, including devices that would not only automate certain tasks but also learn through practice how to perform them better, faster and more cheaply.

Eventually, he said, machines would be able to analyze operator instructions to discern not just what users requested but what they actually wanted to occur, not always the same thing.

His 1958 paper "Pandemonium: A Paradigm for Learning," which proposed a collection of small components dubbed "demons" that together would allow machines to recognize patterns, was a landmark contribution to the emerging science of machine learning.

An early enthusiast about the potential of interactive computing, Mr. Selfridge saw his ideas summarized in a famous 1968 paper, "The Computer as a Communications Device," written by J. C. R. Licklider and Robert W. Taylor and published in the journal Science and Technology.

Honoring Mr. Selfridge, the authors proposed a device they referred to as Oliver, an acronym for On-Line Interactive Vicarious Expediter and Responder. Oliver was one of the clearest early descriptions of a computerized personal assistant.

With four other colleagues, Mr. Selfridge helped organize a 1956 conference at Dartmouth that led directly to creation of the field of artificial intelligence.

"Oliver was one of the founding fathers of the discipline of artificial intelligence," said Eric Horvitz, a Microsoft researcher who is president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. "He has been well known in the field for his early and prescient writings on the challenge of endowing machines with the ability to learn to recognize patterns."

Oliver Gordon Selfridge, a grandson of H. Gordon Selfridge, the American who founded Selfridges department store in London, was born in London on May 10, 1926. The family lost control of the business during the Depression and emigrated to the United States at the onset of World War II.

Mr. Selfridge attended Middlesex School in Concord, Mass., and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he graduated at 19 with a degree in mathematics. After service in the Navy, he embarked on graduate study at M.I.T. under Norbert Wiener, the pioneering theorist of computer science. He became one of Wiener's collaborators but plunged into the working world of computer science before earning an advanced degree.

In the 1960s Mr. Selfridge was associate director for Project MAC, an early time-shared computing research project at M.I.T. He did much of this work at the M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory, a federally financed research center for security technology. He then worked at Bolt, Beranek & Newman, now BBN Technologies, which develops computer and communications-related technology. In 1983 he became chief scientist for the telecommunications company GTE.

He began advising the nation's national security leaders in the 1950s, among other tasks serving on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Security Agency.

His first marriage, to Allison Gilman Selfridge, and his second, to Katherine Bull Selfridge, ended in divorce. Besides his companion, his survivors include their daughter, Olivia Selfridge Rissland of Belmont; three children from his first marriage, Peter Selfridge of Bethesda, Md.; Mallory Selfridge of Eastford, Conn.; and Caroline Selfridge of Saratoga, Calif.; a sister, Jennifer Selfridge MacLeod of Princeton Junction, N.J.; and six grandchildren.

Along with producing scholarly papers and technical books, Mr. Selfridge wrote "Fingers Come in Fives," "All About Mud" and "Trouble With Dragons," all books for children. At his death he was working on a series of books he hoped might one day become an arithmetic equivalent of summer reading projects for schoolchildren.

Mr. Selfridge never stopped theorizing, speaking and writing on what he saw as the future of artificial intelligence.

"I want an agent that can learn and adapt as I might," he once told a meeting organized by I.B.M. Such an agent would "infer what I would want it to do, from the updated purposes it has learned from working for me," he went on, and "do as I want rather than the silly things I might say."


Burial: Unknown


Created by: K Record added: Dec 03, 2011 Find A Grave Memorial# 81470193

Source: Downloaded Jan. 26, 2013 from findagrave.com

England & Wales, Birth Index, 1916-2005 about Oliver G Selfridge Name: Oliver G Selfridge Mother's Maiden Surname: Dennis Date of Registration: Apr-May-Jun 1926 Registration district: Fulham Inferred County: London Volume Number: 1a Page Number: S40 (click to see others on page)

Record Index Name: Olier G Selfridge Birth Date: abt 1926 Event Type: Marriage Event City: Lincoln Marriage Date: 16 Nov 1968 Marriage Age: 42 Father Name: R Gordon Selfridge Mother Name: Charlotte Dennis Spouse Name: Kathren Mc Gowan Spouse Marriage Age: 37 Spouse Father Name: Edward Mc Gowan Spouse Mother Name: Katherine Mc Gea

Source Information Record URL: http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?h=46147238&db=MATownVital&indiv=try

Source Information: Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records. Provo, UT: Holbrook Research Institute (Jay and Delene Holbrook).

Social Security Death Index about Oliver G. Selfridge Name: Oliver G. Selfridge Last Residence: 02478 Belmont, Middlesex, Massachusetts Born: 10 May 1926 Died: 3 Dec 2008 State (Year) SSN issued: New Jersey (Before 1951)

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