It might be a stretch to suggest that there’d be no AI without John McCarthy, but at the very least, we’d likely be discussing the concept much differently. The computer scientist, who died on Sunday at 84, is credited with coining the term “Artificial Intelligence” as part of a proposal for a Dartmouth conference on the subject. The event, held in 1956, is regarded as a watershed moment for the subject. Early the following decade, McCarthy pioneered LISP, a highly popular programming language amongst the AI development community. In 1971, he won a Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery and 20 years later was awarded National Medal of Science. A more complete obituary for McCarthy can be found in the source link below.
John McCarthy, AI pioneer, dies at 84 originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 25 Oct 2011 19:07:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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We’re getting reports today that Dennis Ritchie, the man who created the C programming language and spearheaded the development of Unix, has died at the age of 70. The sad news was first reported by Rob Pike, a Google engineer and former colleague of Ritchie’s, who confirmed via Google+ that the computer scientist passed away over the weekend, after a long battle with an unspecified illness. Ritchie’s illustrious career began in 1967, when he joined Bell Labs just one year before receiving a PhD in physics from Harvard University. It didn’t take long, however, for the Bronxville, NY native to have a major impact upon computer science. In 1969, he helped develop the Unix operating system alongside Ken Thompson, Brian Kernighan and other Bell colleagues. At around the same time, he began laying the groundwork for what would become the C programming language — a framework he and co-author Thompson would later explain in their seminal 1978 book, The C Programming Language. Ritchie went on to earn several awards on the strength of these accomplishments, including the Turing Award in 1983, election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1988, and the National Medal of Technology in 1999. The precise circumstances surrounding his death are unclear at the moment, though news of his passing has already elicited an outpouring of tributes and remembrance for the man known to many as dmr (his e-mail address at Bell Labs). “He was a quiet and mostly private man,” Pike wrote his brief post, “but he was also my friend, colleague, and collaborator, and the world has lost a truly great mind.”
Dennis Ritchie, pioneer of C programming language and Unix, reported dead at age 70 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 13 Oct 2011 09:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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We’ve seen recently that computers are more than capable of kicking humanoids to the curb when it comes to winning fame and fortune, but it’s still we humans who dole out the prizes, and one very brainy humanoid just won the best prize in computer science. That person is Leslie Valiant, and the prize is the fabled A.M. Turing Award. Dr. Valiant currently teaches at Harvard and over the years developed numerous algorithms and models for parsing and computer learning, including work to understand computational neuroscience. His achievements have helped make those machines smarter and better at thinking like we humans, but he’s as of yet been unsuccessful in teaching them the most important thing: how to love.
Computer learning and computational neuroscience icon Dr. Leslie Valiant wins Turing Award originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 10 Mar 2011 11:49:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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