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VIDEO: How Artificial Intelligence has evolved hand in hand with emerging technologies

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a rich history that spans several decades and is characterized by continuous evolution driven by research, experimentation, and technological progress.

The origins of AI can be traced back to the 1950s and 1960s, when early computers laid the foundation for the concept of machines mimicking human intelligence. The term “artificial intelligence” was first coined in 1956 during the Dartmouth Conference, marking the official beginning of the field.

During the 1960s and 1970s, researchers focused on symbolic AI, which utilized symbols to represent knowledge and logic to manipulate these symbols. This period saw the emergence of expert systems, which could solve complex problems within specific domains.

The 1980s and 1990s witnessed the rise of connectionism and neural networks, inspired by the workings of the human brain. This era saw the development of backpropagation, a technique crucial for training neural networks, and a renewed interest in AI research.

From the 2000s onwards, the availability of vast amounts of data and advancements in computing power propelled machine learning to the forefront. Techniques like deep learning, which involves neural networks with many layers, have yielded significant advancements in image recognition, natural language processing, and other AI applications.

Today, AI continues to advance rapidly, with ongoing research exploring areas such as reinforcement learning, transfer learning, and the quest for AI systems capable of explaining their decisions (explainable AI). This progress is driven by contributions from various disciplines, including computer science, mathematics, psychology, and neuroscience, as well as by societal factors such as funding availability and public perceptions of AI’s potential benefits and risks.

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