The field of artificial intelligence has come a long way since its humble beginnings. In the 1960s, when computers were not powerful enough to process large amounts of data, humans were able to do so by hand. However, the computers could not process information as quickly as they needed to and thus, communication was still a struggle. The development of AI became possible thanks to the growth of computer power and the creation of MOOCs.
As computers developed, they also became increasingly intelligent. They learned how to perform complex mental tasks and interact with real environments. They learned how to navigate and interpret complex information through the use of the programming language Lisp. Using Lisp, machines can now understand natural language and understand the human senses, from sight to sound. Until now, humans have been the only species to master the art of interacting with these machines.
While the business community initially lacked funding for the technology, AI developed rapidly and achieved many of its first milestones in the 1980s. Deep Blue, an artificially intelligent chess program created by IBM, defeated the reigning world chess champion Gary Kasparov. It was also the year in which Dragon Systems successfully implemented speech recognition software on Windows and commenced its spoken language interpretation endeavor. As the development of AI continued, the technological barriers to its use in various fields were overcome and new technologies emerged.
As AI develops, it will continue to understand patterns in the world and evolve into ever-more complex models for processing information. While AIs are currently toddlers, they will soon grow into teenagers, and eventually graduate with a doctorate. We might not be ready to live with humanoid robots and self-learning spaceships, but we are not far off. So, how did AI evolve?
Historically, the idea of artificial intelligence goes back centuries. Philosophers long ago pondered the creation of machines that could think and act like humans. They also imagined automatons and mechanical men. In the 1800s, classical philosophers attempted to describe human thinking as mechanical manipulation of symbols. As a result, many scientists began seriously considering building electronic brains. The programmable digital computer was invented in 1940.
While the concept of artificial intelligence has been around for millennia, it only became mainstream in the technology industry in the 1950s. The success of AI was partly due to increasing computer power and focusing on isolated problems while adhering to high scientific standards. However, AI’s reputation in the business world was not as pristine. As a result, AI scientists were often divided on the reasons why AI has not yet reached human-level intelligence.
The earliest concepts of AI date back to Greek antiquity. In fact, Alan Turing, a cognitive scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, conceptualized the idea of machines that could think. This idea was regarded as science fiction at the time, but was made into reality in the 1960s. In addition, British mathematician Alan Turing created the Turing test, a test for measuring machine intelligence. Although his ideas were ridiculed in his lifetime, the term “artificial intelligence” eventually came into popular awareness.
A major setback to the development of AI came in the 1970s. Several funding agencies ceased undirected research in artificial intelligence, and Congress began to place pressure on the field. The funding for such research was reduced in the early 70s, but the Japanese initiative continued to encourage industry and governments to fund AI development. In the late 80s, however, AI funding dried up, and many researchers became disillusioned with the project.
Many experts predict that AI will eventually surpass humans. While this isn’t certain, experts believe that AI will be integrated into nearly all human endeavors. Despite the concerns and fears, AI is likely to save us time and money. By the 2030s, it will also reduce poverty, spur innovation and broaden opportunities. As it becomes more common, experts say it will be an integral part of our lives.
The workplace is a key place for AI’s impact. Businesses are spending billions of dollars on AI and its products. Universities are including AI in their curricula, with MIT spending $1 billion to build a new college. And the U.S. Department of Defense is getting in on the action as well. AI has the potential to change our lives forever. So, the question is, how did artificial intelligence evolve?