0000 History of AI

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A brief history of AI might be as follows. Since programming computers is hugely time consuming, we started wondering if we could make them mimic our ability to learn.

  • In 1950, Alan Turing had coined the idea that if a computer could fool us into thinking it was another human, then wasn't that intelligence (Known as the Turing Test)? Which spawned a lot of philosophical debate into what intelligence really is, and whether machines could ever get it.
  • The term (Artificially Intelligence) was coined in 1956 (Dartmouth Workshop) [1], which was a conference on how to make machines "think". Basically, let's spend research money on a brainstorming conference, travel and food, pondering futurism on the Universities dime. And they accomplished? Nothing but a plan for more research, which yielded little tangible other than a few pipe-dreams about what the future might bring, and a framework for some terms (and study) that was later obsoleted. The technology and understanding just weren't mature enough to create anything more useful than cavemen's drawings pondering mechanical flight.
  • There was a few more breakthru's on ideas of how it might happen over the next couple decades (and a lot on wouldn't work), with fad cycles of money being poured into some potential "breakthru" (AI "Springs": in that research money rained down), and that research didn't materialize anything of value and then the funding dried up (AI "Winters" like 1974-1980 and 1987-1993). As far as tangible accomplishments? 1956-1993 was the AI stone age, where a few nescient ideas and terms leaked out, but no real problems were getting solved, so there was no real market for it.
  • In 1997, IBM's "Deep Blue" (Super Computer) became the first computer to beat a chess champion when it defeated Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov. And in 2011, IBM's Watson won the TV Quiz Show Jeopardy by beating reigning champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. And in 2014, [2] was a chatbot that was able to fool a few judges into thinking it was a human (beating the Turing test). But both were hugely constrained games, where with enough resources you could program a computer to solve a problem, guess at question, and convince people that you were a non-english speaking teenager. Knowing based on probability and large data sets which term/concept has the most matches (or how everyone that won a game of chess reacted when in the same piece configuration), or how to evade questions isn't really intelligence.


Artificial Intelligence
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AI (Artificial Intelligence) isn't what people think it is, and we're not nearly as advanced as the laypeople think, and the others prey upon that ignorance for scares, clicks and attention. This is a little primer on the terms, what it can and can't do. And where it still needs to go. more...

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