Over the years there have been many books, TV shows and films that cover the once fictional and purely theoretical topic of AI, from the popular terminator series to Isaac Asimov’s classic ‘I, Robot’. Previously AI was just a storyline in science fiction, then it became a scientific theory now it has become a reality-almost. Although we are more than a few years away from having robots cook our meals, AI has already had an impact on your lives more than you realise. Asking Siri about the weather is just one example of early stages of AI in reality. In the next ten years we could even see robots dealing cards in casinos or even helping you with at a blackjack academy to enhance your skills, the opportunities and possibilities are endless as we take a look back on how it has evolved over the years.
One British mathematician and WW2 code-breaker who is widely credited as being one of the first to come up with the idea of machines in the 1950’s is Alan Turing. He also created the Turning test, which is still even used today to decide whether a machine can ‘think’ like a human being. At first his theories and ideas were mocked, however mid 1950s unfortunately after Alan Turing passed away the term AI had finally be taken seriously and many began to back the idea.
Although the scientific theory became more prominent in the 1950s the notion of a machine-man can be traced right back to Greek Mythology with Hephaestus, a robotic man who was a god of blacksmiths, craftsmen’s, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanos. Following that during the middle ages there was stories of alchemy and even some religions worshiped physical statues believing they could possess human thoughts and emotions.
Although there had been research on AI it wasn’t until The Dartmouth Conference of 1956, the name ‘artificial intelligence was initially encouraged by John McCarthy. He then contributed to the work of AI in many different universities.
There has been a robot called Kismet, which was designed in the 1990s from MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab who can actually interact and recognise human body language and tone of voice. This is a huge achievement as the biggest goal of an AI is getting a computer or even robot to understand and to be able to communicate.
With so much progress happening over such a vast period of time, many companies and universities are heavily investing into AI research and development. However there are some that do not agree with this advancement including scientist Stephen Hawking who believes it could be the end of humankind. There have been others who have negative points of view on the AI matter including Elon Musk and Bill Gates, either way this is one notion of science that will be continued to be worked on, and only time will tell what will happen in the future.