Did you know that artificial intelligence has been around since World War II?
Academics have long attempted to build machines that can process as well as a human. However, today’s AI is still relatively young.
Whether you’re looking to prove yourself as an AI expert or just interested in gathering some information in case you ever participate in “AI trivia night,” read on to learn about the history of artificial intelligence:
1943 – 1946: J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly created the first general purpose electronic computer called ENIAC at the University of Pennsylvania. ENIAC was originally designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the U.S. Army’s Ballistic Research Laboratory and was able to calculate problems at a speed 2400x faster than humans.
1950: Alan Turing published a paper called “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” in which he argued that a machine can be considered “intelligent” if it met a number of criteria that he proposed. The test later became known as the Turing Test and is the foundation on which the present-day CAPTCHA test is based.
1956: The Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence was held as part of the Dartmouth Workshop. This six-week program is considered the inaugural event for the field of artificial intelligence
1969: Marvin Minsky and Seymour Papert published Perceptrons: An Introduction to Computational Geometry, a book based on the research of psychologist Frank Rosenblatt. Based on Rosenblatt’s research, the authors were able to develop theories about how neural networks can be applied to computers to enable machine learning and identified limitations on AI. Although almost all of the mathematical assumptions in the book were proven unrealistic, the book had a profound and lasting impact on the AI and machine learning community.
1985 – 1989: Three research scientists out of Carnegie Mallon University built a chess-playing computer called ChipTest. After a series of iterations, ChipTest-M won the American Computer Chess Championship in 1987. In May of 1988, the computer developers released Deep Thought, a machine that was able to search 720,000 moves per second and eventually won the World Computer Chess Championship, making it the first computer to beat a chess grandmaster in a tournament game.
1989 – 1997: Deep Thought evolved into Deep Blue, the first computer to ever defeat a world chess champion in both a chess game and match. Its win was the first indication that AI was catching up to human intelligence. Hedge fund managers such as Paul Tudor Jones started exploring the possibility of using AI-based predictive analytics to improve stock and commodity trading.
2006 – 2009: The Dartmouth Artificial Intelligence Conference reunites for its 50th anniversary (AI@50) featuring Minsky, among others to discuss the progress on AI’s original challenges and what breakthroughs they could anticipate for the next 50 years. During this time, DARPA launches the Urban Challenge for autonomous cars, eventually leading to Google building the first self-driving car in 2009.
2010 – present: Deep learning and machine learning help strengthen AI’s capabilities to solve a vast array of business problems, empowering knowledge workers to do more meaningful tasks while creating efficiencies in both time and money. Through supervised and unsupervised learning, AI computers gain the ability to meet challenges such as K1 processing, mortgage banking automation, transcript processing and much more.
For more details on the history of artificial intelligence, we recommend reading this blog post from Harvard Arts and Sciences.