“She would say, ‘I wrote this chapter, can you read it?'” Dr. Reddy, now an undergraduate professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon (and who, like the other Professors Feigenbaum and Simon, is a winner of the AM Turing Prize, commonly known as the Nobel Prize in computing). “She’s interacting with all the AI pushers and shakers. She’s in the middle of it, a witness to history.”
McCorduck moved to Columbia, where she taught creative writing, when Professor Traub was appointed founding chair of the university’s computer science department in 1979.
She continued to write; among her later books was “The Universal Machine” (1985), about the impact of computers on the arts, sciences, education, and medicine; “Rise of the Expert Firm” (1988), an exploration of how companies use artificial intelligence, written by Professors Feigenbaum and Penny Nii; and “Aaron’s Code” (1990), about Harold Cohen, an abstract painter who develops a complex software program to create works of art.
She also published two more novels, “The Edge of Chaos” in 2007 and “Bound Rationality” in 2012.
In addition to her sister, she is survived by her brother, John, and her own daughters, Claudia Traub and Hillary Spector. Professor Traub passed away in 2015.
Ms. McCorduck regretted not realizing the possibility that artificial intelligence could be abused. She voiced those regrets in her last book, “This Could Be Important.”
“A theme in my book is how naive I used to be – we all are – in the early days when it seemed like more intelligence could only mean more virtue,” she says. with insideBigData, a website devoted to AI, machine learning, and data science news, in 2020. “I’m particularly frustrated with myself. I am a student of humanities. How could I not imagine that more intelligence would bring about all the usual misdeeds humans can commit? “
She is particularly interested in the facial recognition system, which she calls “a misguided tool in the hands of governments”, adding: “It will remain fallacious as it is technically improved. art. It’s really a political issue, not a technology issue.”