The most intellectually daring thing I've done – organized a semi-formal meeting with Marvin Minsky to try and get him to not hate embodied AI (personified by Rod Brooks), which he did, and Heideggerian AI, which I imagine he hated even more (and understood less). I didn't do this alone, Pattie Maes had at least as much to do with this event as I did.
The genesis of the meeting from my perspective was my feeling that Minskyism and embodied AI were completely compatible and should mutually inform each other. And they should unite against their common enemy, which was a the logic-and-rationality view of mind. Both were alternatives to this desiccated and boring view of mind, they shared a certain appreciation for the actual machinery of thought, the energetics of it. I at least was interested in them both and was looking for synergy
sorry to use that term but it is actually what I mean
Unfortunately no records were kept that I know of. All I can remember is that it didn't work, Marvin left as grumpy on these topics as he when he started. My attempt at intellectual diplomacy was a failure. I can't even recall who was there, or what year it was – probably in the early 90s?
I don't think I was sufficiently aware at the time that Marvin had a history of enmity with Heideggerians, specifically Hubert Dreyfus, who was the bête noir of the AI Lab
The Artificial Intelligence of Hubert Dreyfus: A Budget of Fallacies The level of personal invective in that is a bit shocking, and so regardless of who was right this was clearly a conflict that a naive grad student was not going to put to rest.