Obituary, Technology

Obituary: computer scientist and AI coiner John McCarthy dies aged 84

John McCarthy, the computer scientist who coined the term ‘artificial intelligence’ and developed the Lisp programming language, has died. He was 84.

From 1962 until his retirement in 2000, John McCarthy worked at Stanford on artificial intelligence. He championed the use of mathematical logic in this field, and helped set up the Stanford AI Laboratory. In 1971 he won the Turing Award for his contributions to the study of artificial intelligence (AI), a term that he himself had come up with.

In his short story The Robot and the Baby, McCarthy explored the question of whether robots could (and should) simulate emotions. In other work, he predicted many aspects of social networking, and his Lisp programming language remains in use today, predated only by Fortran.


About Sarah Bosdiccia

Sarah Bosdiccia is a writer, journalist, blogger and editorial assistant. In the past, she has worked in the local newspaper business and has taught journalism modules at undergraduate level. She doesn't 'do' Facebook but you can follow her at @sarah_bosdiccia.


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