Robots Weekly 🤖: AI, a Timeline 🗓️

With the current explosion of interest in and coverage around AI you might think it’s the new shiny of the tech world, but it’s actually been around for a while. Let’s jump in our time machine (which is a hot tub, duh) and take a quick journey through some of the more pivotal moments of AI from its inception to today.

The 40s

1943: groundwork for artificial neural networks laid in a paper by Warren Sturgis McCulloch and Walter Pitts, “A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity“. 📃 [1]

The 50s

1950: Alan Turing publishes the Computing Machinery and Intelligent paper which, amongst other things, establishes the Turing Test 📝 [6]

1951: Marvin Minsky and Dean Edmonds design the first neural net machine (machine, not computer) that navigated a maze like a rat. It was called SNARC. 🐀[1]

1952: Arthur Samuel implements a computer program that can play checkers against a human, it’s the first AI program to run in the US. 💾 [2]

1956: the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence conference is held, hosted by Minsky and John McCarthy. This also marks the coining of the term “artificial intelligence”. 🤖 [6][7]

1956: Allen Newell, Cliff Shaw, and Herbert Simon present the Logic Theorist at the above mentioned conference. This program attempted to recreate human decision making. 🤔 [6]

1957: Perceptron, the first recreation of neurological principles in hardware, invented by Frank Rosenblatt. 🧠 [1]

1959: Samuel uses the phrase “machine learning” for the first time, in the title of his paper “Some Studies in Machine Learning Using the Game of Checkers“. 📃 [2]

The 60s

1960: Donald Michie builds a tic-tac-toe playing “computer” out of matchbooks. It utilized reinforcement learning and was called MENACE: Matchbox Educable Noughts And Crosses Engine. ❌⭕️ [2]

1961: Samuel’s program beats a human checkers champion. 🏆 [2]

1965: Joseph Weizenbaum builds ELIZA, one of the first chatbots 💬 [7]

1969: Minsky writes a book called Perceptron that touched on the benefits of creating networks of perceptrons. 📚 [1]

1969: first AI conference held, the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelliengence. 👥 [3]

The 70s

1970: Seppo Linnainmaa creates first backpropagation equation (but it’s not known as such?). 📐 [3]

The 80s

1986: Geoffrey Hinton and Ronald J. Williams publish paper creating/unveiling modern backprop. 📃 [3]

The 90s

1997: IBM’s Deep Blue beats chess world champion Garry Kasparov. 🏆 [5]

1999: the MNIST data set is published, a collection of handwritten digits from 0 to 9. ✏️ [5]

Stanley, the autonomous vehicle from Stanford

The 00s (The Aughts)

2005: Stanford’s Stanley wins the DARPA Grand Challenge race, it was an autonomous vehicle (yeah, those aren’t new shiny things either). 🚛 [7]

The 10s (2010s? What do we call this decade?)

2012: GPUs used to win an ImageNet contest, becoming the gold standard for AI hardware. 🏅 [4] (more)



Welcome back to the present, please mind your arms and legs as you exit the time machine. Please note that contents may have shifted during our journey so please use caution when retrieving your belongings. As always, thank you for choosing Blue Ion Time & Space for all your temporal travel needs. Have a splendid day!



[1] Src: Open Data Science

[2] Src: Rodney Brooks

[3] Src: Open Data Science

[4] Src: Azeem on Medium

[5] Src: Open Data Science

[6] Src: Harvard’s Science in the News

[7] Src: AITopics

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