Joseph Weizenbaum, Prof. Emeritus of Computer Science, 1923-2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 (All day)

Professor emeritus of computer science at MIT, Joseph Weizenbaum, who developed the list processing system SLIP and the natural language understanding program ELIZA--establishing his role in the beginnings of computer science research, died March 5 in Berlin. He was 85.

MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department Head Eric Grimson commented: "Joe was a long-time member of our faculty. He is well known for his ELIZA program (created and developed in 1964 through 1965) that demonstrated natural language processing by engaging users into a conversation resembling that with an empathic psychologist. ELIZA was perhaps the first instance of a chatterbot program, and is part of the folklore of computer science research. His 1976 book "Computer Power and Human Reason" raised questions about the role of Artificial Intelligence, and spurred debate about the role of computer systems in decision making for many years."

Read more about Joseph Weizenbaum:

> the MIT News Office article of March 10, 2008

> the New York Times, March 13, 2008 article, "Joseph Weizenbaum, Famed Programmer, Is Dead at 85"

> the NPR story from All Things Considered, March 13, 2008, "Weizenbaum, Creator of ELIZA Program, Dies">

> "Weizenbaum, Rebel at Work," a film by Peter Haas, Silvia Hozinger, 80 min., GER/USA/AUT, copyright 2007.