15 Moments that Defined the History of Artificial intelligence

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The emergence of artificial intelligence can be dated as far back as seventy years ago when humans started conceiving the idea of computers having the cognitive capacity to function, in the area of everyday interaction. During those periods, the availability of funding came about, because there were anticipations to know the result of this new dimensional utopia. Unfortunately, results for the emergence of artificial intelligence weren’t forthcoming until after the success stories that were witnessed in the past twenty-five years, detailing how artificial intelligence grew to the amazement of many in fulfilling the predictions that were made over it in the past.

Interestingly, before artificial intelligence came into its full realization, there were different periods that shaped its gradual growth and acceptance into the 21st century Era. These importance periods, according to their timeline, shall be traced chronologically from those past times up to this present age.

  1.  The radical thinking that was ushered by the effect of the Second World War (1943)

The second World War led to the convergence of scientists from different disciplines, especially in the emerging fields of neuroscience and computing. Two Britons that started off the journey into the world of artificial intelligence are Alan Turing, a mathematician, and Grey Walter, a neurologist who both examined the possibilities of artificial intelligence in debates. These two were also part of an influential dining society called, the Ratio Club. The Ratio Club was where many research-driven ideas were presented for other participating scientists to make a critical analysis of the emergence of artificial intelligence. Interestingly, these two renowned scientists didn’t just stop at making arguments and propositions. Walter was the first scientist to have ever conceived the ideas of building robots. The contribution of Turing, on the other hand, can be seen in the invention of Turing Test- a test that could be used to ascertain the intelligence of a machine.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1.  The contribution of science fiction (1950)

During this period, a collection of short stories about science fiction was published by Isaac Asimov. His work was popularly received by many because he touched on the Three Laws of Robotics, a law that was aimed at restricting robots from taking control of human existence. Moreover, his work served as a model for inspiring future scientists and roboticists into researching into areas of robotic technology.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1. The emergence of the ‘Top-down’ Approach (1956)

This period saw the identification of artificial intelligence as a new discipline. The name artificial intelligence was coined out of a summer conference which was organized by a young computer scientist, John  McCarthy, at the Dartmouth University. There were also lots of debate that were made to tackle the emergence of artificial intelligence. Interestingly, one of the academics, Marvin Minsky, who was present at the conference discussed his opinion regarding the emergence of artificial intelligence with the ‘Top-down’ Approach. The approach required that human behavior was governed by pre-programmed rules that were supported by a computer. On the other hand, another approach that was different from the Top-down approach emerged which was known as the Bottom-up approach. The Bottom-up approach was concerned with the simulation of new behavior which was powered by the brain cells. Later on, Minsky’s and McCarthy’s view drew a lot of attention from the US government, which facilitate the funding of their ideas, with the hope that the outcomes would be used against other countries fighting with the United States in a cold war.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1. The Stanley Kubrick Film (1968)

The Stanley Kubrick Film, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, can be attributed to the contribution of Minsky to Science fiction, because Stanley took good advice from Minsky before producing the movie in this period. The purpose of the film was to predict the future of artificial intelligence, through the machine, HAL. In the movie, he talks about his mission and how he has proven himself in executing his tasks without making mistakes, during his interview with BBC. Significantly, this movie was able to deal with the wrong perception that a lot of people had concerning the emergence of artificial intelligence.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1. The realization of a dream and the criticisms (1969)

During this period, artificial intelligence could not realize the predictions it had made in the past, concerning its error-free tendencies. Moreover, the development of Shakey the Robot saw that artificial intelligence still had a lot to do, concerning the building of quick response robots. Shakey had too many challenges such as,

  •    It worked with a map that needed to be updated at an hour interval.
  •    It made decisions based on available materials from the environment.
  •    It was slow to responses.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1.  Beyond AI’s capabilities

The state of artificial intelligence was under attack because it failed to live up to expectations, concerning the successful predictions that were made about it in the past. One of the strong criticisms that came from the US Congress concerning the direction of artificial intelligence in the UK was given by a professor of Mathematics Sir James Lighthill. In his opinion, he asserted that artificial intelligence could not go past so many human capabilities. Criticisms were on the increase, and artificial intelligence had a winter period at this time, which also led to the slashing of the fund by half by the American government in the continuation of AI projects.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1. The realization of AI’s commercial value (1981)

After the AI winter period, the Digital Equipment Corporation, which was founded by Ken Olsen, saw the business part of artificial intelligence to the world of computers. Initially, an expert system was developed, named RI. The work of RI wasn’t overestimated compared to the earlier predictions that were made about artificial intelligence in surpassing human capabilities. Rather, RI was developed to help configure computer systems which saved the company money as high as $40 million in the year, starting from 1986.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1. The reabsorption  of the ‘Bottom-up’ approach (1990)

Rodney Brooks was able to turn the cards in favor of artificial intelligence when he argued about the deficiencies that were present in the ‘Top-down’ approach. His opinion was that expert systems were not able to understand the mechanics behind the imitation of biological phenomenon. So, he supported the Bottom-up approach because of its connections to human cognitive development.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1. The awakening (1997)

This period saw the contest of the chess game between a supercomputer; Deep Blue-an IBM built machine, and a renowned world champion in chess, Gary Kasparov. Kasparov lost to the supercomputer owing to its ability to process over two million moves within a second. This defeat caused a reawakening in the evolution of artificial intelligence.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1. Roomba, the homemade robot (2002)

Rodney Brook’s company, IRobot, spearheaded the development of an autonomous vacuum cleaner robot which had enough intelligence to work on its own. However, this product was programmed to work on a specific task, which was cleaning the room. Roomba ushered in the development of artificial intelligence for many years to come.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1. War machines (2005)

Having successfully developed a machine that was capable of cleaning a room autonomously, the United States went ahead to develop a war machine called Bigdog which was built by Boston dynamics to fight in war-torn zones, limiting human casualties.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1. Voice recognition (2008)

One of the goals of artificial intelligence was in the enhancement of voice recognition for robotic decides. In the course of realizing this dream, Google went ahead to invest in this project, and they were able to succeed to a large extent.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1. The emergence of dance robots (2010)

This period saw the emergence of humanoid robots that were able to process rhythmic tunes to dance to it. This happened at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1. The remarkable fight (2011)

In the course of supporting neural networks for machines, Watson was developed. Watson was subjected to training for more than there years in providing answers to questions. The basis for acknowledging the achievement of artificial intelligence came about when Watson, an IBM made machine, defeated a human competitor in the US Quiz Show Jeopardy.

Source: www.bbc.com

  1. Self-driving cars (2014)

Here, the predictions about artificial intelligence came into reality as Google invested billions of Dollars in manufacturing cars that needed no driver. The remarkable feat was also noticeable in Skype’s real-time voice translation for multiple users.

Today, artificial intelligence has come to be appreciated by all, because of the way in which machines can now interpret human languages and process them autonomously.


This article’s source is https://www.bbc.com/timelines/zq376fr


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