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History of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is not a new term nor a new technique for researchers. This technique is much older than you imagined. Even ancient Greek and Egyptian myths have myths of mechanical men. There are some milestones in the history of AI that define the journey from the AI generation to the present day.

History Of Artificial Intelligence
Image by Queensland Brain Institute – University of Queensland

Maturity of Artificial Intelligence (1943–1952)

  • Year 1943: The first work, now recognized as AI, was done in 1943 by Warren McCulloch and Walter Pits. He proposed a model of artificial neurons.
  • Year 1949: Donald Hebb demonstrated an updated rule to modify the linkage strength between neurons. His rule is now called Hebbian Learning.
  • Year 1950: Alan Turing, an English mathematician and pioneer of machine learning in 1950. Alan Turing published “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” in which he proposed a test. The test can test a machine’s ability to display intelligent behavior equivalent to human intelligence, known as the Turing test.
  • Year 1955: Ellen Newell and Herbert A. Simon created “the first artificial intelligence program”, named “Logic Theorist”. The program proved 38 of 52 mathematics theorems, and found new and more elegant proofs for some theorems.
  • Year 1956: The term “artificial intelligence” was first adopted by American computer scientist John McCarthy at the Dartmouth conference. For the first time, AI was coined as an academic field.

High-level computer languages such as Fortran, LISP, or COBOL were invented at that time. And enthusiasm for AI was high at the time.

Golden Year – Early Enthusiasm (1956–1974)

  • Year 1966: Researchers emphasized on developing algorithms that can solve mathematical problems. Joseph Weizenbaum built the first chatbot in 1966, named Eliza.
  • Year 1972: First intelligent humanoid robot made in Japan named WABOT-1.

First AI Winter (1974–1980)

  • The period between 1974 and 1980 was the first AI winter period. AI winter refers to a period of time where computer scientists deal with a huge shortage of funds from the government for AI research.
  • During the AI winter, publicity interest on artificial intelligence was reduced.

AI boom (1980–1987)

  • Year 1980: AI came back with a “specialist system”, after the winter period. Expert systems were programmed that simulate the decision making ability of a human expert.
  • In 1980, the first national conference of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence was held at Stanford University.

Second AI Winter (1987–1993)

  • The period between 1987 and 1993 was the second AI winter period.
  • Again investors and the government stopped funding AI research due to high costs, but did not produce efficient results. Expert systems like XCON were very cost effective.

The rise of intelligent agents (1993–2011)

  • Year 1997: In the year 19, IBM Deep Blue defeated the World Chess Champion, Gary Kasparov, and became the first computer to beat the World Chess Champion.
  • Year 2002: For the first time AI enters the house as a vacuum cleaner rumba.
  • Year 2006: AI entered the business world by 2006. Companies like Facebook, Twitter and Netflix also started using AI.

Intensive Learning, Big Data and Artificial General Intelligence (2011-present)

  • Year 2011: In the year 2011, Watson of IBM won a quiz show, in which it had to solve complex questions as well as riddles. Watson had proved that it can understand natural language and solve difficult questions quickly.
  • Year 2012: Google launched an Android app feature “Google now”, which was able to provide information as a prediction to the user.
  • Year 2014: In the year 2014, the chatbot “Eugene Goostman” won a competition in the infamous “Turing Test”.
  • Year 2018: IBM’s “Project Debaters” debates complex topics with two master debaters and performs extremely well.
  • Google has demonstrated “duplex”, an AI program that was a virtual assistant and hired a barber on call, and the woman, on the other hand, did not notice that she was talking with the machine.

Now AI has developed to a remarkable level. The concept of deep learning, big data and data science is now running like a boom. Nowadays companies like Google, Facebook, IBM and Amazon are working with AI and creating amazing devices. The future of Artificial Intelligence is inspiring and will come with high intelligence.


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