A Bird’s-Eye View on the History of Artificial Intelligence

History and Milestone of artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is neither a new word nor a new technology for researchers. This technology is much older than we could think. Researchers have been working on this technology since the middle of the last century. Their aim was to develop machines that can learn and think like a human being.

What is Artificial Intelligence? Where has it reached in recent times? What will Artificial Intelligence be able to solve in the coming decades? And how it will look in the future? There are many questions regarding AI.

Let’s first understand the definition of Artificial Intelligence. It is a term which contains two words.


Something which is not real is called Artificial. The simplest thing what we can think of which is not real is artificial grass. It is used to replace the real grass for many reasons. Artificial grass is used for sports because it is more durable and it can be used for a longer time than real grass. The point is that there is some specific reason behind unreal thing being a substitute for the real thing.


It is a very complex term. It can be defined in many ways like logic, understanding, learning, problem-solving, etc. We call humans intelligent because they are capable to do all the things mentioned above. We can sense our environment, learn from it and take action based on what we found. The same applies to animals.

The interesting point regarding intelligence in animals is that there are many species and they behave differently because of which we can compare the intelligence of different species.

In both above cases, we are talking about natural intelligence.

If we talk about artificial intelligence, we are referring to a branch of Computer Science. Artificial Intelligence is performed by machines, computers, and software. Machines imitate some kind of subjective functions based on environment, observations, rewards and learning methods.

“ Machines will be capable, within twenty years, of doing any work what man can do.” – Herbert A. Simon (CMU)”

To understand deeply about Artificial Intelligence, we should look at the history of it to see what it is capable of.

“Within a generation … the problem of creating ‘artificer intelligence’ will substantially be solved” – Marvin Minsky (MIT)

History and Milepost of Artificial Intelligence

The history of AI is very interesting and it goes back to some 100 years ago.

> Turing Machine: 1936

Alan Turing, a British mathematician, through his theories, proved that a computing machine –known as Turing Machine- would be able to execute cognitive process; on the condition that they could be broken down into multiple individual steps and represented by an algorithm. In doing so, he laid the foundation stone of what we call Artificial Intelligence today.

> Beginning of History: 1956

In the year 1956, scientist gathered for a meeting and they believed that the learning along with other features of human beings can be replicated by a machine.  A new term called ‘Artificial Intelligence’ was proposed by programmer John McCarthy. ‘Logic Theorist’ was the world’s first AI program.

> First Chatbot in 1966

Joseph Weizenbaum, a German-American computer scientist invented a program that can interact with humans. He termed it ‘ELIZA’.

> Artificial Intelligence Entry into Medical Field: 1972

AI made its way into the medical field with the introduction of ‘MYCIN’. They are used for treatment support in the medical field.

> ‘NETtalk’ Speaks: 1986

In the year 1986, for the first time, the computer was given a voice. ‘NETtalks’ can read the word and speak them correctly and can apply what it has learned. Their function is similar to those of human brains.

> Computer Defeated World Chess Champion: 1997

The IBM designed AI chess computer ‘Deep Blue’ defeated the world champion Garry Kasparov in a match. It was a historic success in an area mostly dominated by humans.

> In the Year 2011 AI make a presence in our Everyday Life

Apple’s ‘Siri’ came to the market in the year 2011, ‘Cortana’ by Microsoft in 2014 and Amazon Echo voice service by  ‘Alexa’ by Amazon in 2015.

> AI Watson Won the Quiz Show: 2011

Watson is a system designed by IBM who is capable to answer questions asked in natural language. It is named so after the first CEO of IBM Mr. Thomas J. Watson. Watson competed in a quiz show in the US and won against human players. It proved that it can comprehend and understand human language and was able to answer difficult questions.

The Coming Future is Brilliant

After decades of research, it can be considered that the AI is still in its infancy period. Scientists are planning to use AI for space travel as well.

“ It needs to become more secure and reliable before using it in delicate areas of life such as a self-driving car, drones, in the field of medicine, etc.



There are many AI Systems who can beat us in many areas like playing, Data analysis, etc. There are various filed in which AI can be used in coming times like medical, production plant, etc. There is speculation that AI will decrease the job which is currently done by humans. At some extent, it is true because all the work which can be automated will be done by the AI system but that will have minimal impact on employment.



Rosie Wilson is a Computer Science graduate currently living in the UK. He is also working as a senior financial expert at Virgin Bucks which is a renowned direct lender.

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