I stumbled across this excellent blog post on the history of AI. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the field. What struck me most is how the term “artificial intelligence” came about. It was first referenced in a workshop in 1956, as Rodney Brooks explains:
The title page says A PROPOSAL FOR THE DARTMOUTH SUMMER RESEARCH PROJECT ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. The first paragraph includes a sentence referencing “intelligence”:
The study is to proceed on the basis of the conjecture that every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.
The picture leading this article is of John McCarthy who coined the term artificial intelligence. We should also not forget Claude Shannon and his work on information theory, Norbert Wiener and cybernetics, Marvin Minsky, and Nathaniel Rochester for all of their foundational work. The work done in the field today expands from their start.
Brooks’ blog post goes on into more detail beyond the early days of artificial intelligence research. You should just go read it.