John McCarthy (computer scientist)

From Academic Kids

John McCarthy (born September 4, 1927, in Boston, Massachusetts, sometimes known affectionately as Uncle John McCarthy), is a prominent computer scientist who received the Turing Award in 1971 for his major contributions to the field of artificial intelligence. In fact, he was responsible for the coining of the term "artificial intelligence" (at the Dartmouth Conference in 1955). McCarthy invented the Lisp programming language and published its design in Communications of the ACM in 1960. He helped to motivate the creation of Project MAC at MIT, but left MIT for Stanford University in 1962, where he helped set up the Stanford AI Laboratory, for many years a friendly rival to Project MAC.

In 1961, he was the first to publicly suggest (in a speech given to celebrate MIT's centennial) that computer time-sharing technology might lead to a future in which computing power and even specific applications could be sold through the utility business model (like water or electricity). This idea of a computer or information utility was very popular in the late 1960s, but faded by the mid-1970s as it became clear that the hardware, software and telecommunications technologies of the time were simply not ready. However, since 2000, the idea has resurfaced in new forms. See application service provider.

McCarthy received his B.S. in Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in 1948 and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Princeton University in 1951. After short-term appointments at Princeton, Stanford, Dartmouth, and MIT, he became a full professor at Stanford in 1962, where he remained until his retirement at the end of 2000. He is now a Professor Emeritus.

John McCarthy often comments on world affairs on Internet forums with a right-wing perspective.

See also

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