The Roots of Artificial Intelligence Essay example

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The Roots of Artificial Intelligence

The roots of artificial intelligence can be traced back to ancient Greece with myths like that of Pygmalion, which incorporated the idea of an intelligent robot. These early thoughts soon developed into stories like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in 1818, which was the story of a monster created by man and brought to life. These stories make for interesting fireside tales and bedtime reading, but where did artificial intelligence truly get its start? Most scientists and historians would give this credit to “the father of artificial intelligence”1, John McCarthy. Without McCarthy, the term “artificial intelligence” would not have been coined; and many discoveries in this growing field
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In 1944, he enrolled at California Institute of Technology as a junior due to his work in high school. After McCarthy returned from fighting in World War II in 1945, he proceeded to earn both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cal Tech. Soon after he finished his schooling, McCarthy moved out into the world to figure out how he would use his abilities for the rest of his life. His search soon ended after listening to a lecture at his alma mater, Cal Tech.

In 1948, John heard “the renowned mathematical logician and computer designer John von Neumann deliver a paper on self-replicating automata—machines capable of creating copies of themselves”3, at the Hixon Symposium for Cerebral Mechanisms in Behavior at Cal Tech. “Von Neumann’s talk sparked McCarthy’s interest, and he began thinking about the relationship of human intelligence to machine intelligence.”4 McCarthy decided to study for his PhD at Princeton in 1949, where von Neumann was on the faculty. When he first arrived, McCarthy first attempted to model human intelligence in a machine; however, he was not satisfied with the results that he first received from the tests. The theories that McCarthy developed during this time were very useful in his future work on machine states and transitions. In the mid 1950’s, the term “artificial intelligence” was first presented when McCarthy requested money from the
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