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Roots of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a term that gets thrown around in the tech world, yet it is a foreign and unfamiliar subject to most. What does it mean? How was it invented? Why is it so relevant to the future? As I've been growing up, I've always found myself asking these same questions. My thirst for knowledge about a range of subjects drew me to learn more about this. I feel that it's vital for everyone to understand some basics about AI in order to thrive in a future where it infiltrates our daily lives. I was shocked to learn that the concept of computers able to think and work like humans dates back to the 50s. Alan Turing, known by many as the father of computer science, was the first to publish about the concept. He wrote about many of the foundations in modern computing, including the idea that computers would someday have the ability to compete with humans on the grounds of intelligence. There is one seemingly simple requirement necessary under Turing's definition. The machine needed to be able to take input of information, analyze it, and use it to output decisions or solutions. If you think about it, that's precisely how our brains work, learning from the information we know to make informed decisions. Similar to the founding fathers of America from history class, artificial intelligence arose at a conference of computer scientists who are better known as the founding fathers of AI. In 1956 at this conference, the term artificial intelligence was attached to Turing's idea. At the time, computers were still in their early stages of development, lacking key requirements for AI. Firstly, they had no memory to store what they did, meaning they couldn't learn from themselves. But primarily, computers were costly. Still, top computer researchers became dedicated to developing AI, making slow progress over the next thirty years. By 2000, applications of AI were first being presented, from a chess-playing computer to speech dictation software. For nearly the past two decades, we've been alive to watch the rise of artificial intelligence in our daily lives. Now that you understand where AI comes from, in my upcoming posts, I'll discuss what AI does for us today and the limitless possibilities it brings us for the future.


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