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Who Invented Artificial Intelligence?

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Frances Bott answered
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been in the consciousness of people seemingly forever; there are numerous myths, stories and legends that go back to ancient times that have artificial beings gifted with intelligence.

• Artificial Intelligence in the 1940s
In the 1940s a programmable digital computer was invented, which was based on abstract mathematical reasoning. It was this that made a few scientists seriously consider the validity of AI, and the idea of building an electronic brain began to grow.

• Artificial Intelligence 1956
The work that had been pioneered by the work in the 1940s led to a conference at Dartmouth College in Devon in the United Kingdom in the summer of 1956. The attendees were to become the leaders in the field of AI for decades to come. It was predicted that a machine that was as intelligent as a human could be created within a generation, and they were given funding of millions of dollars to make it happen.

• Early research
Early research showed that the brain functions by using neurons and this was the basis for AI. There were a number of scientists who worked on developing the idea, all with different specialisms. These included Norbert Wiener (cybernetics); Claude Shannon (digital signals); Alan Turing (computation); W. Grey Walter (analog circuitry) and John Hopkins (analog circuitry).

Two others, Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts analyzed artificial neurons, and were the first to detail what later became known as a neural network. A student working with them became inspired and helped to build the first neural net machine. This was Marvin Minsky and he went on to become one of the most innovative and important leaders in the field of AI for the following 50 years.

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