The term “Artificial Intelligence” was coined in the summer of the year 1956, in a proposal that was prepared and submitted at the Dartmouth summer workshop, that took place at Dartmouth College. Hannover, New Hampshire.
This conference was organized by John McCarthy, to analyze, clarify and develop ideas concerning “Thinking machines.” The conference was to be attended by a group of eleven men, consisting of; Dr. Marvin Minsky, Dr. Julian Bigelow, Professor D.M. Mackay, Mr. Ray Solomonoff, Mr. John Holland, Dr. John McCarthy, Dr. Claude Shannon, Mr. Nathanial Rochester, Mr. Oliver Selfridge, Mr. Allen Newell, and Professor Herbert Simon.
The focus of the seminar was to be based solely on computers, natural language processing, neural networks, theory of computation, abstraction, and creativity (these areas within the field of artificial intelligence are considered to still be relevant to the work of the field). Although the academic field of Artificial Intelligence was not founded till year 1956, it could be argued that the study of formal logical reasoning began way back with ancient philosophers and mathematicians.
It was the study of mathematical logic, that led directly to Alan Turing’s Theory of Computation, which states that by manipulations of symbols such as “1” and “0”, a machine could construe acts of mathematical reasoning and deductions.
The acuity that digital computers could simulate any process of formal reasoning and deduction, is known as the Church-Turing thesis. The impact of the Church-Turing thesis, alongside the simultaneous breakthrough in fields such as neurobiology, cybernetics, and information theory influenced researchers to explore the possibility of building an “electronic brain”.
The pioneering work that is now generally regarded as Artificial Intelligence was the formal design of Turing-complete “artificial neurons”, designed by Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts in the year 1943.