Walter Pitts, a homeless teenager with a passion for logic and mathematics, met neurophysiologist Warren McCulloch in the late 1930s. They formed a unique partnership, working together to understand how the brain could produce logical, mindful thought. They proposed that the brain was not merely an organ, but a logical machine, capable of universal computation and learning. Their revolutionary idea, the McCullock-Pitts neuron, was a simple model of a biological neuron and became the foundation for artificial intelligence.

Despite their groundbreaking work, Pitts’ life ended tragically. He became increasingly isolated, struggled with alcoholism, and eventually died alone in 1969. His contributions to the field were largely forgotten, overshadowed by the rise of other AI pioneers. McCulloch, on the other hand, continued to work in the field and became a prominent figure in neuroscience and artificial intelligence.

Despite Pitts’ tragic end, his work with McCulloch laid the groundwork for the development of neural networks and the modern field of artificial intelligence. Their pioneering work demonstrated that the brain could be understood as a logical machine, a concept that has shaped our understanding of human cognition and the possibilities of artificial intelligence.

Go to source article: