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`Automata Studies’ becomes artificial intelligence

China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-15 00:18

In 1956, John McCarthy, an American computer scientist pioneer and inventor, called for research on "Automata Studies". But few people understood what he meant, so he came up with another phrase for the research he was promoting: artificial intelligence.

While teaching mathematics at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1956, McCarthy was the principal organizer of the Dartmouth Conference on Artificial Intelligence, the first academic conference on the subject.

The objective was to explore ways to make a machine that could reason like a human, was capable of abstract thought, problem-solving and self-improvement. McCarthy believed 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."

McCarthy, a professor emeritus of computer science at Stanford University, died in October 2011 at his home in California. He was 84.

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