R.I.P. John McCarthy

John McCarthy, Erfinder der Programmiersprache Lisp und des Begriffs „Artifficial Intelligence“ verstarb gestern nacht im Alter von 84 Jahren. Von Wired:

John McCarthy died on Monday at the age of 84, according to Stanford University, where he served on the faculty for almost four decades. In organizing the Dartmouth Summer Research Conference on Artificial Intelligence in 1956, McCarthy not only added a term to the popular lexicon, he founded an entirely new area of research alongside fellow pioneers Marvin Minsky, Nathaniel Rochester, and Claude Shannon. In the years to come, he would go on invent LISP — one of the world’s most influential programming languages — and he played a major role in the development of time-sharing systems.

“Without time-sharing, you wouldn’t have the modern internet,” says Lester Earnest, who worked with McCarthy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the late fifties and later at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL), the research operation McCarthy helped found in 1962.

But for all his influence over today’s world, McCarthy envisioned something much greater. Says Google’s Sebastian Thrun, who revived SAIL in 2003 before joining Google to build the company’s self-driving cars: “When it came to artificial intelligence, he was a philosopher.”

John McCarthy — Father of AI and Lisp — Dies at 84 (via Clockworker)