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Uncle John - the Father of AI

John McCarthy 1927 - 2011

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In Lisp a long series of close parentheses - the more parentheses, the bigger the work being brought to an end.

Born September 4, 1927, John McCarthy was an American computer scientist and the first person to coin the term ”artificial intelligence” (AI). He invented the Lisp) programming language and was highly influential in the early development of AI.

  • In 1956, Uncle John organized the first international conference to focus on Artificial Intelligence.

  • In 1958, he proposed the advice taker, which inspired later work on logic programming.

  • Around 1959, he invented garbage collection.

  • In 1961, he was the first to publicly suggest that time-sharing technology might lead to a future in which computing power and specific applications could be sold through the utility business model (like water or electricity). The phenomenon which today we call Cloud Computing.

“The Internet would not have happened nearly as soon as it did except for the fact that John initiated the development of time-sharing systems. We keep inventing new names for time-sharing. It came to be called servers.… Now we call it cloud computing. That is still just time-sharing. John started it.” -Lester Earnest

McCarthy saw the importance of math and math education which included a license plate guard on his BMW car noting: “those who don’t speak math are doomed to speak nonsense”

On October 24, 2011, Uncle John Peacefully died in his sleep. RIP John

courtesy: Wikipedia

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