History of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

It all starts with an idea, then a name is found, written, and it becomes true. The same happened with artificial intelligence (AI). The idea was born earlier on, but the name came to life in 1956. This is according to livescience.com. It all happened at a conference taking place at Dartmouth College. (Lewis)And that was where the modern AI was born. Since then, many have happened, with the latest forms of AI proving more advanced and more intelligent. This is a clear indication of the progress that has been taking place in the tech labs and how man is thinking deeper and wider on ways to make robots more human. Let’s analyze what has happened in between the first form of AI and the latest one.

1970’s – Early 1980’s

This was a critical period in the history of AI. You already know how skeptical human beings become when dealing with new inventions. AI wasn’t spared. Most people believed this was another case of over-ambition. They didn’t pay attention but criticized the invention. This led to some governments pulling out their support to inventors who worked hard to make things happen. This was true, especially between the mid and late 1970s. Well, the good thing is the AI engineers never gave up, and that is one of the reasons the early 1980s saw most governments bring back their support.

For instance, the British government decided again to support AI engineers. They had been convinced for the second time this thing could work. Simultaneously, the Japanese engineers were also having sleepless nights trying to make AI a reality. This was a push factor as the British government didn’t want to allow the Japanese to win the AI founder’s title.

The competition between these two engineers and governments meant AI development. It was a boost to both the engineers and the field in general. In the end, it was a win for humanity. I mean, the strides AI has seen up to date wouldn’t have happened had this not happened. It was a blessing in disguise, to say the least.

Late 1980’s – Early 1990’s

This was another challenging period for AI engineers. At this point, it was clear the success of AI solely relied on government support. Any time governments would withdraw their support, the ability for AI to flourish would go down remarkably. It was a coincidence, during this same period, general-purpose computers had their market go down. Generally, it was a trying moment for technology and most inventions. But, in the spirit of not giving up, our AI engineers kept the fight.

The battle to make AI a reality was not getting easier. But their relentless would later bear fruit. It wouldn’t instantly but sooner rather than later. They knew what AI could, they saw and visualized the potential this field possessed, and that’s why they never gave up.

Mid 1990’s – 2010

This was another hill to climb for AI but was the most fruit-bearing phase. Why is this the case? After 2010, AI has seen massive gains. The level of intelligence today’s bots have can only be credited to the effort AI engineers put here to lay the ground for today’s smartest robots.

It would be unfair not to include one man in the history of AI. Marvin Minsky has been pivotal in the evolution and development of AI. He, together with other minds, has worked so hard to see AI transform into what it is today.

Other great minds that deserve mentions as far as AI is concerned to include:

  • John McCarthy
  • Ray Kurzweil and
  • Jeff Hawkins

Although each of them had different ideologies of what AI should look like, they immensely contributed to AI development. For instance, in an ideal world, Jeff would have preferred simple bots offering simple solutions to simple problems. This meant breaking down tasks into simple ones and getting simple bots to solve the same. This is contrary to most complicated bots trying to solve complicated tasks, which sometimes work while it isn’t effective.

Ray, on the other hand, stays pessimistic. His pessimism is based on the fact that computers don’t have the power to attain full or close to human intelligence. He argues it may take another decade before we get there. Still, his input in AI cannot go unnoticed. Besides, great minds know only great minds can see shortcomings in even the perfect of ideas and propose possible solutions. It is through such criticism that we learn and grow.

2011 to Now

We are now at a critical stage of AI. This is the point that determines whether AI will get to its destination. Today, we have the most intelligent bots around, and AI engineers are still inventing. With time, we will know how far this goes.

Big data is also gaining popularity today. Machine learning is also on the spread. According to statistics, the sale of AI-related products has skyrocketed. This is a clear indication that AI is being adopted faster than ever before. The products are being consumed across all industries in the world today.

With big data and machine learning, companies are making major strides and increasing their profitability too. Clearly, AI is making life easier, just like the founding fathers have visualized. AI has grown in intelligence so much that even today, these bots can make more informed decisions than some of the brightest human beings alive.

Conclusion

AI has quite a history. From withdrawals of human support to unending support, technology has seen immense growth, especially in the last decade. At the moment, these bots do not perform only repetitive tasks but also make critical decisions. AI is not actively used in the medicine, sports, and business fields, among many other disciplines. Today AI is used in refereeing in football. The video assistant referee (VAR) has made some critical decisions in the biggest football stages, like the world cup no man could have made. A clear indication of how far we’ve come from to how far we’ve gone.