AI turns fifty: Revisiting its origins

The expression ‘‘artificial intelligence’’ (AI) was introduced by John McCarthy, and the official birth of AI is unanimously considered to be the 1956 Dartmouth Conference. Thus, AI turned fifty in 2006. How did AI begin? Several differently motivated analyses have been proposed as to its origins. In this paper a brief look at those that might be considered steps towards Dartmouth is attempted, with the aim of showing how a number of research topics and controversies that marked the short history of AI were touched on, or fairly well stated, during the year immediately preceding Dartmouth. The framework within which those steps were taken was the development of digital computers. Earlier computer applications in areas such as complex decision making and management, at that time dealt with by operations research techniques, were important in this story. The time was ripe for AI’s intriguingly tumultuous development, marked as it has been by hopes and defeats, successes and difficulties.
Keywords History of Artificial Intelligence  Connectionism  Artificial Neural Networks  Bounded Rationality
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