Giant Leaps For AI

Posted on 20 July 2022

​With today being the 53rd anniversary of man’s first steps on the moon, we thought we’d reflect on some of the greatest achievements in AI: giant leaps for AI and mankind 😉 - ones that have unequivocally shaped AI of today.

In 2021, the AI market size was valued at $93.5 billion and with the industry continuing to boom, companies like DS Group are solely dedicated in helping to hire the AI professionals who are further shaping and innovating the industry. The developments in AI continues to have revolutionary, knock-on effects on so many other areas such as astronomy, gaming and the automotive industry!

Whilst the idea of intelligent robots dates back to even before the 10th century (crazy!) and discussed by ancient nations such as the Arabs and Greeks, we’ll be looking at the more recent breakthroughs of AI.


1942: The Enigma Machine was Decoded by the Great Alan Turing

He worked with a few other extraordinary people at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire – where top secret work was carried out to decipher the military codes used by Germany and its allies. An electro-mechanical device known as the Bombe was created by Turing and his colleagues. This helped to decipher the code, contributing to the war effort and eventually: ending the war. (There’s a film called the ‘Imitation Game’ all about Turing and his work during WW2. Definitely give it a watch!)


1950: The Turing Test

Alan Turing proposed the Turing Test as a criterion for judging whether a machine is truly intelligent. A machine that passes this test is considered to have independent intelligence. As a result of this test, AI has continued to evolve with the development of computers.


1955: John McCarthy Coined the Term: ‘Artificial Intelligence’

John McCarthy, was an American mathematician and computer scientist who was a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). He himself, coined the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and has since been known as the Father of AI.


1956: Logic Theorist

Written by Allen NewellJ.C. Shaw and Herbert A. Simon, Logic Theorist is a computer program and is known as the first AI computer program. Presented in later years at a conference, people began to really believe in the sentiment of AI.


1961: The Unimate 1900 Series

As a result of the foresight of Joseph Engelberger - the Father of Robotics, the Unimate 1900 was invented by George Duvel. It was the first mass produced robotic arm for factory automation which revolutionised the industry. Later on in 1966, audiences around the world got to see the robot for the first time as Johnny Carson welcomed the Unimate on the Tonight Show. Engelberger had the robot perform several tricks to wow viewers, including knocking a golf ball into a cup, pouring a beer and conducting the Tonight Show band.


1964: ELIZA the Chatbot

Joseph Weizenbaum created ELIZA at the MIT Computerized Reasoning Laboratory and was the first chatbot made. ELIZA used a number of different programs or “scripts” to help manage her interactions with users. Named after George Bernard Shaw’s character, Eliza Doolittle, who is transformed through a variety of lessons to correct the way she speaks and acts. Weizenbaum saw his creation’s ability to be “incrementally improved” with each interaction, similar to the character.


1972: Completion of Shakey the Robot

Shakey was the first mobile robot with the ability to perceive and reason about its surroundings and was created by a group of developers, managed by Charles Rosen. The robot obtained its name from the way it could shake when it came to an abrupt stop. Shakey could understand about 100 words of written English, translate these words into a simple verbal code, and then translate the code into the mathematical formulas in which his actual thinking is done. The group of researchers were granted $750,000 for Shakey which is around $5m in today’s money.


1997: Deep Blue (Chess Computer)

Created by Feng-hsiung Hsu and developed by IBM, it is famous for defeating the chess world champion, GM Garry Kasparov, in their 1997 match. Deep Blue's victory was viewed as a symbolic testament to the rise of artificial intelligence—a victory for machine versus man.


2002: iRobot – Roomba

This was a robot which autonomously vacuums the floor while navigating and avoiding obstacles. This is widely accepted as the first, successful domestic robot.


2010: Microsoft Launched Kinect for Xbox 360

Microsoft had a goal to remove any device between the player and the Xbox. Kudo Tsunoda and Darren Bennett joined Microsoft in 2008, and began working with Alex Kipman on a new approach to depth-sensing aided by machine learning to improve skeletal tracking. Kinect was launched and was the first gaming device to track human body movement using just a 3D camera and infra-red detection: enabling wireless use.


2011-2014: Release of Virtual Assistant

Apple's Siri (2011), Google's Google Now (2012) and Microsoft's Cortana (2014) are smartphone apps that use natural language to answer questions, make recommendations and perform actions.


2015: An AI Warning

While there have been some incredible revelations in AI – in 2015 a warning was addressed by leaders within the industry. Steven Hawking, Elon Musk and Stuart Russell are to name a few who signed the Open Letter on AI. It emphasised concrete research on how preventing certain potential "pitfalls" was necessary. Whilst artificial intelligence has the potential to eradicate disease and poverty researchers must always have control over the AI that’s being created.


2018: AI Outwits Humans

Alibaba’s deep-learning model topped humans for the first time in one of the world’s most-challenging reading comprehension tests. Its deep neural network model scored 82.44 in the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD) on January 11th 2018, beating the human score of 82.304 for Exact Match.


2022:AI Enabled the James Webb Space Telescope

Earlier this month, NASA disclosed the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723. SMACS 0723 is located in the southern constellation of Volans at a distance of 5.12 billion light-years from our planet. The image showed how this galaxy cluster looked 4.6 billion years ago.

A machine learning model known as Morpheus was created by researchers and was taught to sift through pictures, identify faint blob-shaped objects from space, and assess whether or not they are galaxies. And if so, what kind? In simple words, it will enable pixel-level morphological classifications of cosmological images. These competencies will be helpful as the telescope delivers a wider and deeper perspective of the cosmos than ever before.

Well, it seems fitting that the most recent breakthrough outlined is in keeping with the anniversary of man’s first steps on the moon...

We hope you’ve found this blog as fascinating as we did! If you’re thinking of getting into AI or wanting a career change into a company who are really making a difference in AI, then please feel free to reach out.

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