If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Computing pioneer and AI specialist John McCarthy dies

Stanford professor and Lisp inventor passes aged 84

John McCarthy, the man widely regarded as having coined the term Artificial Intelligence in 1955, has died aged 84.

McCarthy was also the creator of the Lisp programming language, published in 1960, which quickly became the de-facto native tongue for early AI programming. Furthermore, he is credited as having introduced early forms of the concept of cloud computing, floating the idea of computing power as a utility to be sold to consumers in a speech in 1961.

McCarthy was admitted to Caltech as a mathematics major after teaching himself from the university's textbooks well enough to be allowed to skip the first two years of the course. He later went on to receive his PHD from Princeton before working at both MIT and Stanford, where he retired from in 2000.

During his career, McCarthy was awarded the Turing Medal, the National Medal of Science and the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science.

Dan Pearson avatar

Dan Pearson