6 Key Facts About AI: How Long Has It Been Around? (2023)

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The prevalence of artificial intelligence in our everyday lives has increased drastically. We now see AI tech in our phones, cybersecurity, and cars. But where did it all begin for AI, and what lies in its future?

Well, here are some interesting facts you may not know about artificial intelligence.

1. AI Was First Conceptualized in the 1600s

6 Key Facts About AI: How Long Has It Been Around? (1)

While the ancient Greeks wrote about "intelligent robots" in religious mythology, artificial intelligence was first conceptualized by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, a German mathematician and philosopher, in the late seventeenth century.



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When Leibniz was just 20 years old, he offered a theory that could be used to allow a machine to generate ideas automatically. He theorized that human thoughts, in any capacity, are all quantifiable and come down to a refined mix of fundamental concepts. Therefore, Leibniz suggested that this combination could be replicated to allow a machine to do the same.

Leibniz named this theoretical mechanism "the great instrument of reason" and theorized that it would be able to answer any questions put forward to it. However, this idea of a thought machine came under considerable scrutiny. Many believed that human thought was a more spiritual or unrepeatable form of expression rather than something that came down to science, a view that some still hold today.

This "great instrument of reason" was never successfully created, and we are yet to see a machine that could answer any question out there. However, considerable moves are being made towards creating such a machine, as many have seen in ChatGPT and similar tools (which we'll discuss later).

2. The Term "Artificial Intelligence" Was Coined in 1956

6 Key Facts About AI: How Long Has It Been Around? (2)

While the concepts surrounding artificial intelligence have been discussed for centuries, the term itself wasn't officially coined until 1956 at a conference at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. At this conference, the field of AI was officially born, along with the coining of the term.

Allen Newell, Cliff Shaw, and Herbert Simon introduced their Logic Theorist program, designed to replicate the thinking and problem-solving processes present in the human mind.

After being introduced to the Logic Theorist program, Marvin Minsky, an MIT cognitive scientist, and several other renowned researchers and scientists spoke of how much faith they had in this technology. Alan Turing, a British mathematician, also wrote a paper on artificial intelligence in the 1950s and discussed building independently-thinking machines and testing their intelligence.

3. AI Can Be Found Everywhere Today

6 Key Facts About AI: How Long Has It Been Around? (3)
(Video) The Emergence of AI: 6 Incredible Facts and the Future of Artificial Intelligence

Though we're not seeing all-knowing machinery or robots that act just like humans yet, AI is certainly being developed and improved upon each year, and it's already being used in different ways in multiple industries.

Firstly, take a look at your smartphone! AI is used in your voice assistant, be it Google Assistant, Siri, Bixby, Cortana, or Alexa. These virtual assistants use AI to understand your voice and make decisions based on what you ask or instruct. Your phone's facial recognition feature also uses AI, as well as in object recognition programs (such as that offered by Samsung's Bixby Vision).

AI is also now being implemented in the manufacturing, education, and healthcare industries. For instance, AI is being developed to help doctors diagnose and iron out treatment plans. AI may soon be used to automate certain menial functions so that doctors have more time in their day-to-day schedules.

You can also find the presence of artificial intelligence in cars. Renowned electric car company Tesla uses AI in its autopilot function, allowing their cars to view upcoming stretches of road and make decisions based on what the system picks up.

Tesla also released its Tesla Bot in 2021, which relies on AI to function. This machine is designed to perform mundane tasks that humans generally have no interest in. Who knows, this bot could one day be folding your laundry!

4. AI Can Now Hold Conversations

6 Key Facts About AI: How Long Has It Been Around? (4)
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In November 2022, OpenAI launched its AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT. On the surface, ChatGPT looks like any other chatbot, but it has been trained on huge amounts of data using a Generative Pre-trained Transformer large language model, making it possible to have in-depth conversations about a huge range of topics.

ChatGPT is not sentient and cannot form its own opinions. This is the case for all other AI-powered chatbots (such as Microsoft Bing AI and Google Bard), which some see as a good thing (we'll discuss that a little later). Because of this, you can't ask ChatGPT personal questions or for its own views on things. More than anything, it provides information and resources but can process language so that users feel like they are conversing with a real person.

With AI chatbots now commonplace, these tools will likely continue developing. We may one day see a sentient AI-powered chatbot.

5. AI Isn't Perfect—Far From It

6 Key Facts About AI: How Long Has It Been Around? (5)

While scientists and engineers are certainly making some big steps in AI, the technology hasn't reached its peak yet. We're still yet to develop a machine that can think in the same way as a human, and we're certainly quite a while away from creating the kind of AI-fuelled robots seen in sci-fi films.

A key element of AI is machine learning. This term is self-explanatory but involves a machine independently learning, building knowledge and experience, and adapting to situations. Unfortunately, the shortcomings in this area essentially limit what artificial intelligence can do.

So, what can't AI do yet?

Firstly, AI still can't handle situations like humans do because AI doesn't have what is known as "common sense." This massively limits what kinds of tasks AI can perform and what kinds of concepts it can understand. AI also still isn't great at adapting last minute. In other words, AI can't improvise very well. This also has a negative effect on the quality to which it can function.

Another attribute (most) humans have that AI does not have is the ability to be ethical. AI doesn't have its own core values or morals, so it can't make decisions based on well-being or the greater good. All of these factors combined make AI somewhat rudimentary compared to humans.

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AI hallucination is also an issue that is causing a lot of concern. When an AI system "hallucinates," it responds to a prompt believing it is entirely correct when the response is not true. Hallucinated responses may be untruthful, indecipherable, exaggerated, or even biased. This is a big issue in a period when more people are beginning to rely largely on AI for information, such as news and statistics.

However, AI does indeed have a future, and an exciting one, at that. But this will involve the increasing intelligence and abilities of a machine. And, if you're a fan of sci-fi movies, you'll know there's a chance this could go wrong.

6. People Are Scared of AI

At the moment, humans are the most intelligent beings on the planet. But if AI continues to advance at its current rate, we may face a being as sentient and intelligent, or even vastly more intelligent, than us within the next few decades. In other words, we will achieve the "singularity."

So, why is this a concern? Well, as you'd probably expect, a machine that can function at a higher speed or level of intelligence than us could threaten humanity. And there's a huge number of people who fear this possibility.

A 2019 Statista survey found that 46% of Americans think achieving the singularity will result in either negative or world-ending consequences. Out of all survey participants, only 27% believed this would have a positive outcome for humanity. The situation is similar in the UK, with Digital Intelligence finding 60% of people fear AI.

Another fear among many is that AI will one day replace them as workers. Automation is already becoming increasingly prevalent across most industries, but the implementation of AI may make a whole new section of jobs replaceable.

The regulation of AI may help curb these concerns, though no one knows how things will play out here.

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The Possibilities of AI Are Endless, Regardless of Whether That's Exciting or Scary

While opinions on AI differ from person to person, the continued progression of AI will certainly give way to some unbelievably advanced technology. Intelligent robots, self-driving cars, there's no end to what AI could offer us in the coming years. While this may be a little daunting, we're excited to see it!


6 Key Facts About AI: How Long Has It Been Around? ›

1940-1960: Birth of AI in the wake of cybernetics

Just before, a first mathematical and computer model of the biological neuron (formal neuron) had been developed by Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts as early as 1943.

How long has AI existed in years? ›

1940-1960: Birth of AI in the wake of cybernetics

Just before, a first mathematical and computer model of the biological neuron (formal neuron) had been developed by Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts as early as 1943.

When did AI first begin? ›

The earliest successful AI program was written in 1951 by Christopher Strachey, later director of the Programming Research Group at the University of Oxford. Strachey's checkers (draughts) program ran on the Ferranti Mark I computer at the University of Manchester, England.

What are the key facts about AI? ›

Artificial Intelligence Facts
  • AI-enabled devices are everywhere. ...
  • The growth of AI startups accelerated 14-fold since 2000. ...
  • Business leaders trust AI's power in driving growth. ...
  • The global AI market is booming. ...
  • By 2030, Artificial Intelligence will add 15.7 trillion dollars to the world's GDP, boosting it by 14 percent.
Feb 22, 2023

How long ago did AI start? ›

Birth of AI: 1950-1956

The term “artificial intelligence” was coined and came into popular use. Dates of note: 1950: Alan Turing published “Computer Machinery and Intelligence” which proposed a test of machine intelligence called The Imitation Game.

When was the first AI robot? ›

Waseda University initiated the WABOT project in 1967, and in 1972 completed the WABOT-1, the world's first full-scale humanoid intelligent robot.

How has AI developed over the years? ›

In recent years, the capability of AI systems has become much more impressive still. While the early systems focused on generating images of faces, these newer models broadened their capabilities to text-to-image generation based on almost any prompt.

What was AI first used for? ›

The first working AI programs were written in 1951 to run on the Ferranti Mark 1 machine of the University of Manchester: a checkers-playing program written by Christopher Strachey and a chess-playing program written by Dietrich Prinz.

Why was AI created? ›

In summary, the goal of AI is to provide software that can reason on input and explain on output. AI will provide human-like interactions with software and offer decision support for specific tasks, but it's not a replacement for humans – and won't be anytime soon.

What are the 5 big ideas of AI? ›

In this fun one-hour class, students will learn about the Five Big Ideas in AI (Perception, Representation & Reasoning, Learning, Human-AI Interaction, and Societal Impact) through discussions and games.

What is the brief history of AI? ›

A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence

1956 - John McCarthy coined the term 'artificial intelligence' and had the first AI conference. 1969 - Shakey was the first general-purpose mobile robot built. It is now able to do things with a purpose vs. just a list of instructions.

What are the 4 key principles of AI? ›

The team at the Institute for Ethical AI and ML has assembled eight principles that can be used to guide teams to ensure that they are using AI responsibly. I'd like to run through four — human augmentation, bias evaluation, explainability, and reproducibility.

Who invented AI for the first time? ›

December 1955 Herbert Simon and Allen Newell develop the Logic Theorist, the first artificial intelligence program, which eventually would prove 38 of the first 52 theorems in Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathematica.

How fast will AI develop? ›

90% of AI experts believe human-level AI could exist within the next 100 years.

Why is AI so important? ›

Thanks to machine learning and deep learning, AI applications can learn from data and results in near real time, analyzing new information from many sources and adapting accordingly, with a level of accuracy that's invaluable to business. (product recommendations are a prime example.)

Who created the first AI robot? ›

The first electronic autonomous robots with complex behaviour were created by William Grey Walter of the Burden Neurological Institute in Bristol, England, in 1948 and 1949. The first digitally operated and programmable robot was invented by George Devol in 1954 and was ultimately called the Unimate.

How old is the oldest robot? ›

The earliest robots as we know them were created in the early 1950s by George C. Devol, an inventor from Louisville, Kentucky. He invented and patented a reprogrammable manipulator called "Unimate," from "Universal Automation." For the next decade, he attempted to sell his product in the industry, but did not succeed.

What was the first talking AI? ›

In 1966, MIT computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum released ELIZA (named after the fictional Eliza Doolittle from George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play Pygmalion), the first program that allowed some kind of plausible conversation between humans and machines.

What are the 4 stages of AI? ›

According to the current system of classification, there are four primary AI types: reactive, limited memory, theory of mind, and self-aware. Let's take a look at each type in a little more depth.

How is AI used today? ›

Already, AI- and machine learning-enabled technologies are used in medicine, transportation, robotics, science, education, the military, surveillance, finance and its regulation, agriculture, entertainment, retail, customer service, and manufacturing.

How was AI discovered? ›

The beginnings of modern AI can be traced to classical philosophers' attempts to describe human thinking as a symbolic system. But the field of AI wasn't formally founded until 1956, at a conference at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire, where the term "artificial intelligence" was coined.

Which was the first AI device in the world? ›

WABOT-1, the first 'intelligent' humanoid robot, was built in Japan in 1972.

How has AI changed the world? ›

AI has already progressed in robot development. Many AI-based robots are widely popular in engineering, manufacturing, and health. On the other hand, advanced robots are helpful for deep earth research, space exploration, and disease control in the medical field.

How does AI affect society? ›

AI has the potential to bring about numerous positive changes in society, including enhanced productivity, improved healthcare, and increased access to education. AI-powered technologies can also help solve complex problems and make our daily lives easier and more convenient.

What are the 6 key AI principles? ›

Microsoft outlines six key principles for responsible AI: accountability, inclusiveness, reliability and safety, fairness, transparency, and privacy and security. These principles are essential to creating responsible and trustworthy AI as it moves into more mainstream products and services.

What are the 6 dimensions of AI explain? ›

Six dimensions of AI

There are six broad dimensions of artificial intelligence: speech and audio recognition, natural language processing, image processing, pattern recognition, deep learning and robotics.

What are the six stages of AI? ›

Origin of AI
  • Stage 1- Rule Bases System. ...
  • Stage 2- Context-awareness and Retention. ...
  • Stage 3- Domain-specific aptitude. ...
  • Stage 4- Reasoning systems. ...
  • Stage 5- Artificial General Intelligence. ...
  • Stage 6- Artificial Super Intelligence(ASI) ...
  • Stage 7- Singularity and excellency.
Feb 28, 2021

What are the 8 foundations of AI? ›

✒️ Algorithm, incompleteness theorem, computable, tractability, NP completeness, Non deterministic polynomial and probability.

What are 3 things AI is capable of? ›

AI is the ability of a machine to display human-like capabilities such as reasoning, learning, planning and creativity.

How many types of AI are there? ›

Based on how they learn and how far they can apply their knowledge, all AI can be broken down into three capability types: Artificial narrow intelligence, artificial general intelligence and artificial superintelligence. Here's what to know about each.

What are the three 3 key elements for AI? ›

The key elements of AI include: Natural language processing (NLP) Expert systems. Robotics.

What are the 7 principles of trustworthy AI? ›

The seven requirements (human agency and oversight; robustness and safety; privacy and data governance; transparency; diversity, non-discrimination and fairness; societal and environmental wellbeing; and accountability) are analyzed from a triple perspective: What each requirement for trustworthy AI is, Why it is ...

What are the 3 most important characteristics of an AI program? ›

Top Characteristics of Artificial Intelligence. Apart from the core three characteristics of AI such as Feature engineering, Artificial Neural Networks and Deep Learning, other characteristics unveil the maximum efficiency of this technology.

How far is AI developed? ›

Evidence from AI Experts,” elite researchers in artificial intelligence predicted that “human level machine intelligence,” or HLMI, has a 50 percent chance of occurring within 45 years and a 10 percent chance of occurring within 9 years.

What will AI do in 10 years? ›

According to new research, AI may be able to automate about 39 per cent of domestic work within 10 years. In the study, researchers asked 65 AI experts from the UK and Japan to predict how much automation could relieve us of the most common housework and care work tasks.

How advanced is AI now? ›

The intelligence of AI systems is a subject of ongoing debate among researchers and experts in the field. Some argue that AI has achieved a level of intelligence that can rival that of humans in certain areas, while others contend that AI is still far from achieving human-level intelligence.

Can AI replace humans? ›

Artificial intelligence cannot replace human talent and creativity, it can only mimic the human brain. The algorithms designed for machine learning (ML) must be taught how to perform their assigned tasks. This requires a large number of human resources which will only continue to multiply in the near future.

How powerful is artificial intelligence? ›

AI is already a powerful practical tool used to optimise search engines, accelerate drug research, invent new materials and improve weather prediction, and is fuelling advances in fields including mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics. Its future potential is vast and will “profoundly affect us all”.

Will AI take over humans? ›

Regardless of how well AI machines are programmed to respond to humans, it is unlikely that humans will ever develop such a strong emotional connection with these machines. Hence, AI cannot replace humans, especially as connecting with others is vital for business growth.

How long has artificial intelligence AI existed 30 to 40 years? ›

How long has artificial intelligence AI existed 30 to 40 years. In the 1940s and 50s, a handful of scientists from a variety of fields (mathematics, psychology, engineering, economics and political science) began to discuss the possibility of creating an artificial brain.

Did AI exist in ancient times? ›

As early as 3,000 years ago we encounter interest in intelligent machines and AI that perform different servile functions. In the works of Homer (c. eighth century BCE) we find Hephaestus, the Greek god of smithing and craft, using automatic bellows to execute simple, repetitive labor.

When would AI take over the world? ›

Cloud Artificial Intelligence (AI) really take over the World? The Answer, No. AI will not take over the world. The notion is science fiction.

What year will AI surpass human intelligence? ›

The path to AGI will likely require unpredictable breakthroughs and innovations. The median predicted date for AGI on Metaculus, a well-regarded forecasting platform, is 2032. To me, this seems too optimistic. A 2022 expert survey estimated a 50% chance of us achieving human-level AI by 2059.

What is in the age of AI? ›

The Age of A.I. is an eight-episode American science documentary streaming television series narrated and hosted by American actor Robert Downey Jr. The show covers the applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in various fields, like health, robotics, space-travel, food, disaster-prevention, and others.

What was the first ever human AI? ›

In Japan, Waseda University initiated the WABOT project in 1967, and in 1972 completed the WABOT-1, the world's first full-scale "intelligent" humanoid robot, or android. Its limb control system allowed it to walk with the lower limbs, and to grip and transport objects with hands, using tactile sensors.

Is AI already exist? ›

Given that AI is already used in everyday life (social-media algorithms, suggestions, smartphones, digital assistants, health care and more), it is quite probable that humans will live in a harmonious co-existence with AI as much as they do now – to a certain extent – with computer and internet technologies.”

Does any AI exist? ›

IBM Watson supercomputer is another example of a Narrow AI. It applies cognitive computing, machine learning, and natural language processing to process information and answers your queries.

Is AI a threat to humans? ›

AI could pose a threat to humanity's future if it has certain ingredients, which would be superhuman intelligence, extensive autonomy, some resources and novel technology,” says Ryan Carey, a research fellow in AI safety at Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute.

Can AI take over humans? ›

Regardless of how well AI machines are programmed to respond to humans, it is unlikely that humans will ever develop such a strong emotional connection with these machines. Hence, AI cannot replace humans, especially as connecting with others is vital for business growth.

What jobs AI can't replace? ›

Trade jobs like plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians are not going to be replaced by AI. For example, a plumber needs to visit sites to install plumbing or fix pipes.

How much faster is AI than humans? ›

Computers have the ability to process far more information at a higher pace than individuals do. In the instance that the human mind can answer a mathematical problem in five minutes, artificial intelligence is capable of solving ten problems in one minute.

How does AI affect human life? ›

AI has the potential to bring about numerous positive changes in society, including enhanced productivity, improved healthcare, and increased access to education. AI-powered technologies can also help solve complex problems and make our daily lives easier and more convenient.

What AI kills itself after 15 minutes? ›

A recent video showing an AI robot committing suicide after experiencing 15 minutes of “wage slavery” has gone viral on social media. The footage, which first surfaced on TikTok and Twitter, features the robot doing physical work and shutting itself down following a repetitive task.


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