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What were the first areas of research into Artificial Intelligence and what were some early successes? More recently we've had:

  1. Beating a human at the game of chess
  2. Convincing a human that a person was conversing with them (passing the Turing test)
  3. Beating a human at Jeopardy game show
  4. Beating a human at the game of go.

Were there milestones that were considered major in the field before the 1990s?

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What might be classed as AI has of course changed over the years, but landmarks and research breakthroughs include:

  • Babbagge's Difference Engine (~1823) for tabulating/interpolating polynomials.
  • Frank Rosenblatt's 1957 invention of the Perceptron.
  • John McCarthy's invention of Lisp in the late 1950s.

  • Arthur Samuel's 1959 checkers player, which famously improved by playing against itself (it would have been nice if that had destroyed the myth about a program only being as 'intelligent' as its creator).

  • Newell and Simon's 1959 General Problem Solver applied Means-Ends analysis to solve a range of problems expressed as Horn clauses.

  • Davis, Putnam et al: 1962 invention of the DPLL algorithm which still forms the core of modern SAT-based theorem provers.

  • Lawrence Fogel et al: 1966 book Artificial Intelligence through Simulated Evolution.

  • Rechenberg and Schwefel: 1960s development of Evolutionsstrategie - an Evolutionary Computation approach using mutation and a form of Darwinian 'survival of the fittest'.

  • Lotfi Zadeh's 1965 invention of Fuzzy Logic.

  • John Holland's 1975 book "Adaptation in Natural and Artificial Systems" which introduced Genetic Algorithms.

  • The 1980 Hearsay II Blackboard Architecture by Hayes-Roth et al.

  • The 1980s invention of the backpropagation algorithm for Mutlilayer Perceptrons by Rumelhart, Hinton et al.

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  • $\begingroup$ Flying a bit under the radar, but nonetheless relevant, (you know, neural networks, improving by self-play, introduces completely new strategies, etc.): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TD-Gammon $\endgroup$ – BlindKungFuMaster Mar 18 '17 at 19:12

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