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5 fun facts about the history of AI
Here we look back to five moments in history that influenced the development of AI:
#1: Widely heralded as the father of modern computers, Alan Turning published a paper in 1950 outlining the Turing Test – otherwise known as the ‘Imitation Game’ – which tested whether a machine could trick a person into thinking they were human.
#2: Computer scientist John McCarthy coined the term ‘artificial intelligence’ in 1956 at a conference at Dartmouth University. Following this, the US government gave funding to McCarthy and fellow scientist Marvin Minsky to develop AI to help strengthen their stance in the Cold War with Russia. Efforts were made to use artificial intelligence to understand the patterns behind the Russian language, which they hoped would enable them to translate Russian documents on a larger scale more quickly.
#3: The 1970s saw the dawn of the AI winter. Government funding for AI was slashed as not enough progress had been made. In 1973, Professor Sir James Lighthill argued that machines would never be capable of achieving more than an “experienced amateur” level of chess.
#4: In 1997, following a surge in funding for AI and its commercial success in the 1980s, IBM’s supercomputer Deep Blue beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov. Deep Blue was capable of analysing up to 200 million potential positions a second.
#5: In 2016, a team at Google taught its computer to keep secrets by creating neural networks which can encrypt information and hide it from each other. They taught networks ‘Alice’ and ‘Bob’ to encrypt information and share it with each other, whilst preventing third network called ‘Eve’ from deciphering it.