September 25, 2021
This week in The History of AI at AIWS.net – John McCarthy proposed the “advice taker” in his paper “Programs with Common Sense.” This hypothetical program was the first to use logic to represent information. The paper was published in 1959.
John McCarthy was an American computer scientist. He, along with Minsky and others, co-wrote the proposal for the Dartmouth Conference, and participated in it. McCarthy also developed the Lisp programming language. He spent most of his career at Stanford after working at Dartmouth and MIT. McCarthy won the Turing Award in 1971.
McCarthy wrote and published the paper while he was a part of the Computer Science at Stanford University. It can be viewed and downloaded here.
The HAI initiative considers this an event in the history of AI due to the paper being one of the earliest developments in artificial intelligence. Furthermore, John McCarthy is one of the pivotal figures in the growth of the field, having been there at the Dartmouth Conference.