John McCarthy, Father of Artificial Intelligence Dies at 84
October 26, 2011 6:44 AM
comment(s) - last by
McCarthy coined the term "artificial intelligence" and created the AI programming language LISP
Computer scientist John McCarthy, who is one of the fathers of
and even coined the term, died Sunday at the age of 84.
McCarthy, who was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1927, found his passion for artificial intelligence in 1948, and coined the term "artificial intelligence" in 1955 in a proposal for the 1956 Dartmouth Conference.
He is also well known for inventing the programming language LISP in 1958 while at MIT. This programming language has become the main language for artificial intelligence work.
In addition, McCarthy was one of the co-founders of the first artificial intelligence laboratory at MIT. He also founded the AI laboratory at Stanford University, where he was a professor of computer science.
McCarthy is considered one of the fathers of AI for the development of LISP, even though he never took credit for inventing artificial intelligence. Nevertheless, his language is used widely in the field and only one other AI language is older than LISP, and that's Fortran, which is only one year older.
McCarthy dedicated his life to making machines that could learn
similar to the way humans learn
, and act accordingly. McCarthy attempted problems such as whether it was beneficial or moral to give free will, knowledge, abilities, beliefs and consciousness to a machine.
"I started my work in artificial intelligence in about '56, although I became really interested in it before that, in '49, when I was a beginning graduate student in mathematics," said McCarthy in an interview for the book "Thinking Allowed: Conversations On the Leading Edge of Knowledge and Discovery with Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove." "I would say that the field has made somewhat less progress than I hoped, although I didn't have any definite opinion as to how fast it would progress. I think that it had and still has difficult conceptual problems to solve before we can get computer programs that are as intelligent as humans."
McCarthy graduated from Caltech in 1948 and then received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton in 1951. He married three times, and received a Turing award in 1971, Japan's Kyoto Prize in 1988, and America's National Medal of Science in 1990.
Artificial intelligence can be seen in many of today's research and gadgets. For instance, IBM is in the midst of
developing neurosynaptic chips for cognitive computing
, which were inspired by neurobiology and consist of an integrated memory (mimicking synapses), communication (mimicking axons) and computation (mimicking neurons).
In addition, just today, a
new thermostat called Nest
was announced and has the ability to learn about its homeowners and make adjustments to the temperature accordingly.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Great man, great mind.
10/27/2011 3:20:20 PM
Unfortunately his passing will be a small footnote in our Lady Gaga obsessed trash media instead of the widespread recognition of an extraordinary life of great discovery, continual innovation and exploration of new ideas and ways of thinking about our world and our interactions in it. RIP, you lived a great life!
RE: Great man, great mind.
10/31/2011 8:56:51 AM
Yep, John McCarthy and Dennis Ritchie did far, far, far more to advance science and technology than Steve Jobs, yet the masses have never heard of them.
RE: Great man, great mind.
11/13/2011 2:28:37 AM
Steve Jobs did a lot. He brought a lot of money into the system. He may have not been the pioneer, but he brought it to the masses.
I think it's a shame that Steve Jobs died when he did. I think he was really only getting started. Another 20 years... it's hard to imagine what he would have accomplished. Textbooks were next on his list. Makes sense: first build the iPad, then create a new system for learning that's far easier to access than what we have now...
It's no doubt that Ritchie and McCarthy have been fundamental to the development of technology. But it took a guy like Steve Jobs to really make it useful to the rest of us. We might enjoy Windows, but if not for Jobs buying the tech and reengineering it as something affordable for the middle class was no small feat either, and no less important.
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
Former Apple, Google Engineers Develop Nest Learning Thermostat
October 25, 2011, 12:04 PM
IBM Researchers Develop Neurosynaptic Chips for Cognitive Computing
August 18, 2011, 11:44 AM
Researchers Create Human-like AI for Second Life
March 16, 2008, 12:00 AM
SRI's CALO Project Tackles Artificial Intelligence
December 5, 2007, 9:07 AM
Latest By Tiffany Kaiser
China to Require Real Names for Chat Apps
August 8, 2014, 8:28 PM
Quick Note: Windows Phone Store Surpasses 300,000 Apps
August 8, 2014, 12:30 PM
Google, Yahoo Working Together on Encrypted Email Tool
August 8, 2014, 7:23 AM
Edward Snowden's New Residence Permit Allows Another 3 Years in Russia
August 7, 2014, 2:41 PM
T-Mobile Beats Sprint in Prepaid Subscriber Numbers, John Legere Ribs New Sprint CEO
August 7, 2014, 11:55 AM
Microsoft Surface Losses Total $676M USD for FY2014; Will Launch in 25 Additional Markets
August 6, 2014, 1:07 PM
Quick Note: Microsoft Giving Nokia 630s to Employees Laid Off in China
August 6, 2014, 1:03 PM
Ten Apple Products Cut From China's Procurement List
August 6, 2014, 11:45 AM
Xiaomi Passes Samsung, Lenovo in China's Q2 Smartphone Shipments
August 5, 2014, 1:50 PM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft July 29 Windows 10 Launch: Freebies, Rollout, and What's Next
July 21, 2015, 2:40 PM
As iPad Sales Wane and Watch Flops, iPhone Saves Apple's Profit With Its Heroics
July 22, 2015, 6:13 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Mozilla and Facebook to Adobe: It's Time to Kill Flash
July 20, 2015, 6:30 PM
Google Scores Bizarre Court Win as Disgruntled Android Users' Lawyers Ruin Case
July 16, 2015, 5:58 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information