History of Artificial Intelligence

In 1931, Gödel layed the foundation of Theoretical Computer Science. He published the first universal formal language and showed that math itself is either flawed or allows for unprovable but true statements.

In 1936, Turing reformulated Gödel's result and introduced the Turing machine, which became the main tool of computer science theory. In 1950 he invented a subjective test to decide whether something is intelligent

In the 1940s Konrad Zuse devised the first high-level programming language, and wrote the first chess program. From 1935-1941 he built the first working program-controlled computers.

John McCarthy coined the term "AI" in the 1950s. Practical AI of the 60s and 70s was dominated by rule-based expert systems and Logic Programming.

In the 1980s and 90s, mainstream AI accepted probability theory (Bayesian Networks, probability nets, causal nets, etc).

In the 1990s and 2000s, much of the progress in practical AI was due to better hardware, getting roughly 1000 times faster per dollar per decade. Some examples include Deep Blue which beat chess world champion Kasparov and the AI controlled car developed by Dickmans which autonomously drove 1000 miles in traffic at up to 120mph.

The Turing Test

The "Turing Test" is an empirical experiment designed to test a computer's capacity for thought. If a computer's behavior is indistinguishable from a human's, for all intents and purposes the computer is human. (Or at least an human-equivalent intellect is implied.)

A practical, if incomplete, example of the Turing Test is the Loebner Prize. Judges converse with computer programs and other humans through a terminal, without knowledge of who is at the other end. The program's goal is to deceive the judges into believing they were conversing with a real, living, in-the-flesh human. Although it does not exactly match the Turing test - machines win by deceiving humans with clever tricks like the random insertion of spelling errors, which clearly defeats the point of the test - it is one of the best known tests of machine intelligence.

A machine that truly has "intelligence" would, in theory, have behavior indistinguishable from human in any arbitrary set of circumstances. If this is achieved, exactly what the philosophical definition of "intelligence" is becomes moot.

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