AI Community mourns John McCarthy
Artificial Intelligence Researcher,
John McCarthy, has died. He was 84.
img src: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news...
The American scientist invented the computer language LISP. It went on to become the programming language of choice for the AI community, and is still used today. Professor McCarthy is also credited with coining the term "Artificial Intelligence" in 1955 when he detailed plans for the first Dartmouth conference. The brainstorming sessions helped focus early AI research.
Prof McCarthy's proposal for the event put forward the idea that "every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it".
How Revolutionary Tools
cracked a 1700s Code
image source: NYTimes
It has been more than six decades since Warren Weaver, a visionary of automated language translation, suggested suggested applying code-breaking techniques to the challenge of interpreting a foreign language. In the last two decades, this idea has revolutionized the field of machine translation, resulting in much more sophisticated statistical methods for breaking non-secret codes, i.e. human languages. Now these improved techniques could be applied again to deciphering a truly secret language: MT specialists were able to decode the Copiale Cipher, a hand-lettered 105-page manuscript from the late 18th century describing the rites of a secret society strongly inspired by free-masonry. Since generations of specialists had tried to unravel the secrets of this document in vain, this successful scientific approach to code breaking by MT technology made the news. Read the article in the New York Times.