Artificial Intelligence: The Rise of the AI (Part I)

Artificial intelligence is spreading like a wild fire, it has become a part of our everyday lives. Today, we have AI cameras in our phone that can give away life like filters and effects, we have AI that suggests people to us on social media etc. It has brought a revolution in the overall working of the human species, just like the industrial revolution once did. For all intents and purposes we might just call it an AI powered industrial revolution.

The question is, this technology which has largely become a part of our everyday lives, what made AI popular? What even brought something like the AI in existence? We might have to look back into the past for answers.

History of AI:

Contrary to popular belief, AI is not something millennial, we will be celebrating 100 years of artificial intelligence in 2020! Yes it is that old. Karel Capek published a sci-fi play in the year 1920 named Rossum’s Universal Robots. The play was the first to introduce the word robot to the world.

Although the book doesn’t actually represent the modern idea of a robot, it was clearly introducing the artificial intelligence scene.

The Dartmouth Conference:

Moving ahead 36 years after the release of R.U.R (Karel’s book) to 1956. 1956 was an important year for AI as the first probable workshop on the topic was held. With the combined efforts of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and employees of IBM, the AI research was started.

The Fall:

After the 60s the progress drastically fell out because of the over optimistic look out. The years after the downfall of enthusiasm for AI were called the ‘First AI Winter’. No one was interested in funding AI during the AI winter, U.S. and Britain cut-off exploratory research in AI and the public interest in it also declined.

The resurgence of AI in the form of expert systems:

‘Expert systems’ came into being after the first AI winter. These systems were programs that answer questions and also solve problems in domains specified. In simple words these systems are experts in domains. There are two types of expert systems viz. Knowledge engines that give away facts and rules about specified topics and inference engines that apply facts from the knowledge engines to new facts.

Second AI winter:

The 80s and 90s saw the second AI winter. Expert systems began to see a downfall as the desktops saw a rise in demand.

AI rises again:

After seeing a lot many turbulences the Deep blue finally came in to existence to be a chess computer. On 11th May 1997 IBM’s chess computer defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov after six games. In 1997 Deep blue made its mark in the list of most powerful computers in GFLOPS.

The Ai saw a huge comeback hereafter, we will discuss the journey of AI in our next blog post so stay tuned.