Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the buzzword that comes up in every conversation nowadays. AI software developer is the profession of recent times. Businesses are investing in AI software more than ever and that is logical as well. This technological advancement is giving a new life to old ways of doing things- from self-driving vehicles to automated surgeries. But how modern is the concept of AI itself?
You will be surprised to know that this notion of a man-made brain doing the tasks, which are, otherwise for human beings is not new at all. In reality, it is older than you think it is. Let us take a look at the history and development of AI over the years here.
The first mentions of any form of AI, as we know it today is perhaps the classical philosophers’ ideas of describing the human thinking process through mechanization and associated symbols. There are stories and myths rooted in yore about robots (ancient Greece) and the alchemy of matter manipulation (middle ages). Then there are the numerous accounts of automatons throughout history.
While the above might seem far-fetched, they were the seeds of modern AI.
Birth and initial growth of AI
In 1956, during a conference at the Dartmouth College, researchers congregated and came up with the term Artificial Intelligence. This event is considered to be the birth of AI as we know of today.
The next few years, from 1956 to 1974 saw a rapid growth in the world of AI. It was during this time that the first rudimentary models came in. Researchers were still working on the reasoning as search methodology. Natural Language Processing (NLP) was another area, which saw a lot of development as well.
However, one of the biggest developments of this period was the success of the WABOT project at Waseda University, Japan. This project resulted in the creation of the first humanoid robot (android), which was capable of walking, gripping objects, see using computer vision and communicate in Japanese through NLP.
First AI Winter and Subsequent Boom
From 1974 to 1980 there was a period of lull in the world of AI. In their optimism, researchers had not thought about the hurdles that might come in the future. Computers simply did not have enough processing and memory power to handle the ideas that came up. It was also clear by this time that for a number of the AI solutions to work, there was a requirement of knowledge, which would take a lot of time to accumulate. It was not something that would work on fast track approaches and hence it lost quite a bit of traction.
Then, with the advent of expert systems in 1980, there was a turn about in AI research. Expert systems focused on specific domains and tried to answer problems with knowledge derived from SMEs in that field. It was a simple model and one that revived AI to an extent. Eventually, further advancements like connectionism occurred and money was spent on the research.
Second AI Winter and Rebirth
However, with the economic slowdown in the late ’80s, AI lost the interests of the investors. This did not stop the researches in any way though but did slow them down.
By 1993, things started to look up for the field of AI. With powerful computers, some of the earliest projects were gaining fruition. One of the biggest breakthroughs was when in 1997, Deep Blue- the computer chess-playing program, beat Garry Kasparov.
With the advent of Intelligent Systems, which took decisions by perceiving its environment, things started picking up and eventually paved the way for the AI systems of today.
AI as of today
The development in the last couple of decades has been phenomenal. It was during the beginning of the 21st century that the concepts of Big Data and Machine Learning came into being. Finally, AI started to explore the realms of abstractions and it seemed that it might just be possible to achieve a decision-making software that will perhaps think just like a human being- an artificially created intelligence.
Today the field is developing by leaps and bounds. However, there is still a long way ahead for the researchers and that is a perfect reason to consider a career as an AI software developer now.…