History of AI


WWII causes intelligent machine search, Turing Test devised


The Turing test was devised as a bar for whether a computer could fool a person that they were talking to another person

'I, Robot' short stories published, trying to prove technophobia not needed

Approx. 1950

The stories are a series about humans, robots and morality and centres around the technophobia (trying to prove it was misplaced)

Phrase 'artificial intelligence' coined at Dartmouth Uni Conference


Top computer scientists, including John McCarthy met to discuss AI and its potential. Mix of approaches including programming to mimic human behaviour, neutral networks (emulating brain cells) to learn.

'2001: A Space Odyssey' released, fear of HAL 9000 that captured human fear


Stanley Kubrik's film about a sentient machine: HAL 9000 that controls flight which claims to be "fool-proof and incapable of error". It captured the public fear of a robot takeover

First robot to be able to make own decisions, slow moving robot that moved independent


'Shakey the robot' was able to reason and make its own decisions and developed a map of where it was. It was too slow and had to remap every time it moved forward and could be prevented from working by a moving object in its field of view. It took 6 years to develop.

The AI winter - millions invested, little return

1973 - 1980

Millions spent up to the 1970s with next to no actual development, Professor James Lighthill gave a damning speech in the UK saying simple tasks like face recognition will always be beyond their capability and the most avanced they could get was playing an "experienced amateur" level of chess. AI budgets were slashed worldwide

Commercial value realised with less ambitious expert system, end of winter

Approx. 1981

New investment for AI, less ambitious but creating expert systems

Terminator Released, society overthrown by Skynet


The first film shows society being overthrown by Skynet AI, building on fear

2nd AI winter - caused by over-estimates of technology, budgets slashed

1985 - 1990

Caused by over-expectation of short-term outcomes for the technology, which didn't happen and caused budget slashes

Return to nature, with neural networks (thinking like a brain) instead of computer like systems


Expert systems couldn't work like a human as they weren't build like them (in different chunks all doing different functions), drove back to research of neural networks

Man vs Machine: Chess - IBM's deep blue beat world chess champion for 1st time


IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer took on the world's chess champion and beat him

Roomba: first robot at home - learning room layout and navigating to clean


Vacuum that navigates the room looking for dirt, it learns the layout of the area and will automatically go around and clean it

First real autonomous robot - navigates terrain humans cannot


Built by Boston Dynamics, the BigDog was built to navigate terrain that vehicles couldn't. The company also makes a bomb disposing robot that can 'sniff' explosives, over 2000 of these were deployed in Afghanistan

Stanford vehicle wins DARPA grand challenge - vehicle travels autonomously across desert 131 miles


The AI powered vehicle was able to travel across the desert autonomously for 131 miles

Google introduces speech recognition app - 80% accuracy of recognition


Released with 80% accuracy, able to allow users to search using their voice. It improves itself with the vast amounts of data it receives. As of 2015, Google says that it is 92% accurate

Successor to 'shakey the robot' - 20 harmonic dancing robots at World Expo


New humanoid robots used technology such as neural networks to allow them to observe their surroundings. 20 of these danced in perfect harmnoy af the 2010 world expo in harmony

Man vs Machine: Quizzes and riddles - IBM's Watson champions at Jeopardy


IBM's Watson participated in Jeopardy, it was trained for 3 years to allow it to recognise questions. Watson defeated its opposition easily using vast amounts of mined data

Google Brain cluster learns to recognise a cat - using frames from YouTube videos


Looking through millions of Google Images and YouTube videos, it learned what a cat looked like

First machine passes Turing test - Chatbot 'Eugene Goostman' fooled judges it was a person


64 years after the Turing Test was devised by Alan Turing. The outcome was the chatbot 'Eugene Goostman' was 'taught for the test' using tricks to fool judges.