Evolution of Artificial Intelligence

Evolution of Artificial Intelligence

We have all grown up seeing science fiction movies where there are a time machine, robots, and all sorts of imaginative things. Now many of these imaginations have turned into reality and artificial intelligence (AI) is one of them. The earliest concept of artificial intelligence was mentioned in the novel ‘Erewhon’ written by Samuel Butler in 1872. After so many years, now we see it in reality. The use of AI has become widespread and we experience it in our office, home, and even on the go. It is very interesting indeed to see how it has evolved.

At the beginning of the 20th century, we saw movies like ‘Wizard of Oz’ where robots were shown as being heartless. Soon, in later movies, we saw these robots becoming more intelligent like humans, showing emotions as well. You might think that the concept of AI is new; however, the truth is that scientists, mathematicians, and philosophers started thinking about it back in the 1950s. A British polymath named Alan Tuning was among the first people to think about the mathematical possibility of AI. But due to a lack of a computer, laboratory, and sufficient funds, he couldn’t go further with his research.

A few years later, Research and Development Corporation (RAND) funded a program called Logic Theorist that imitated how humans solve various problems. AI evolved from 1957 to 1974 as the computers got better and faster. Noticing AI is a very promising field, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) started providing fund for several organizations to research AI.

In the 1980s, the concepts of ‘deep learning’ and ‘expert systems’ were introduced. Deep learning is the technique by which computers could learn from experience. The expert system, on the other hand, involved the human decision-making process.

Funding on AI projects started to increase and the Japanese government invested a lot of money on the Fifth Generation Computer Project (FGCP) to develop AI. This project, in turn, inspired the young generation to work on AI. Several breakthroughs happened in the AI sector between the 1990s and 2000s. IBM’s chess-playing program ‘Deep Blue’ defeated the Grand Master and World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov, proving how powerful computers had become in terms of AI. Speech recognition software was also developed during that period. With time, AI started showing good signs. The robot ‘Kismet’ created by Cynthia Breazeal even showed emotions like humans.

In this digital age, we have to deal with the ‘big data’. We need to analyze hundreds of databases and then make a decision. This data analysis can now be handled by the AI and decision making is also possible with it. We can now see the application of AI in many industries including banking, entertainment, marketing, and others. AI will soon be part of our daily lives making our tasks easier.

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