It may be 100 years before history can assess the role that this one human being called Marvin Minsky played in transforming our world. The impact of artificial intelligence -- so pervasive, so woven into the fabric of all that we do and think -- would not be as it is had Marvin not been among us.
The victory of ignorance over memory is the strongest evidence of the failure of peaceful coexistence between the past and the present. But as long as we are not speechless and indifferent to the destruction of our civilizational past, we have a chance to save humanity from the incalculable evil that human beings are capable of bringing about.
ROME -- Reform of the Vatican, outreach to divorced couples, the jubilee and several trips overseas are on the schedule as Pope Francis' pontificate enters its fourth year.
NEW DELHI -- We cannot simultaneously sell ourselves to the world as a land of pluralism, tolerance and Gandhianism, while promoting intolerance, communal hatred and minority insecurity within the country. It is time the Modi government learned they cannot promote "Make in India" abroad while condoning the propagation of "Hate in India" at home.
The idea that "the self is an illusion" has become the bien pensant common sense of the day in many educated circles in the West. I think this is profoundly misguided, but I can see why it seems so compelling. In the English language, nouns label things while verbs label the things that they do. If you mistook this linguistic quirk for a deep philosophical truth then you would of course conclude that the self doesn't exist, because there is no single thing that "I" or "you" refers to. That is because on close examination "I" turns out to be a verb disguised as a noun.
PARIS -- Islamophobia is not a new phenomenon, suddenly uncovered by social media on the Internet. Islamophobia is as old as Islam itself. Yet, Islam can be rightly credited as a trendsetter in interfaith harmony. We all need to articulate that for the sake of humanity.
ROME -- "Vatileaks 2" is the latest scandal to emerge from the Vatican. How many real friends Pope Francis has there today looks harder to count than ever.
After living in Japan for decades -- but still very much an outsider -- I reflect on Buddhism, Zen, the concept of self and what it all doesn't mean.
Pope Francis has switched the focus of the Catholic Church away from a high-profile fight against abortion and gay marriage and onto a mission to serve the poor and extend mercy to all. He is far more concerned with issues related to money than to sex.
ROME -- Francis recently went in a shop in Rome to get new lenses for his glasses and payed what he owed. His short and unexpected visit depicts attitudes he wants for his Church.
Unless Iran gives up its radical revolutionary ideology, it will continue to be perceived as a threat. In its zealous embrace of the nuclear deal with Iran, the United States should avoid the pitfall of considering Tehran's radicalism any less dangerous than that of extremists such as ISIS.
Islamic State atrocities, including systematic rape of captive Yazidi women and girls, have prompted debates over Islam and slavery. Simplistic claims that Islam accepts or forbids slavery ignore complex issues of interpretation and implementation. They also obscure both the lasting impact of slavery on Muslim sexual ethics and the troubling ways that only some violence merits notice or condemnation.
Pope Francis has created four new female saints, two of them nuns who promoted the education of Arab girls in the Ottoman Empire.
Time and again, Jews are persecuted and terrorized. Being Jewish myself, I often ponder the purpose of this relentless agony. Some believe that the atrocities of WWII are unimaginable today.
ROME -- Francis' speech against the "globalization of exclusion" delivered in Bolivia may sound anti-capitalist. But the pope has neither an ideology nor some economic solution. What he is suggesting is a Christian-inspired approach to the economy.
STOCKHOLM -- In 2009, my colleagues and I identified nine planetary boundaries relating to areas like climate, biodiversity, nitrogen and phosphorus use and deforestation that, if respected, would enable us to preserve -- or, at least avoid disrupting further -- Holocene conditions. When we updated our analysis earlier this year, we concluded that we have already violated four of the nine boundaries.