TBT: The Brief History of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence has been around long before it received its name and was often referred to as machine intelligence with references dating back to the Ancient Greeks. The concept of human-like technology has remained popular through time and references can be found in science fiction movies such as The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Terminator, and Ex Machina. In order for arts managers to understand how artificial intelligence applies to their organizations, they first need to know the (brief) history of it. By looking back at the history of artificial intelligence, we can see how the technology has been used in the past as well as advances we have made to make artificial intelligence what it is today.


Alan Turing publishes "Computing Machinery and Intelligence." In which, he proposes a test called "The Imitation Game" which will later become known as the Turing Test. Today, The Turing Test is a contest in which a judge decides based off of questioning if the contestant is human or machine.


In 1956, John McCarthy first coins "Artificial Intelligence" at the Dartmouth Conference.

In 1956, John McCarthy first coins "Artificial Intelligence" at the Dartmouth Conference.


In the 1960's, Joseph Weizenbaum creates the first chatbot, ELIZA. Chat with her here.


From 1974-1980 the "AI Winter" occurred. The "AI Winter" refers to the time period where government funding and interest in artificial intelligence dropped off.


The first National Conference of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence was held at Stanford University in August 1980.


IBM Deep Blue beats world chess champion, Gary Kasparov,  in 1997.



In 2002, AI enters the home for the first time in the form of Roomba, a vacuum cleaner.


IBM's Watson wins Jeopardy, where it had to answer complex questions as well as riddles.


Chatterbot Eugene Goostman wins a competition in the infamous "Turing Test." There is dispute if Eugene actually passed the test, but the chatterbot was able to convince 33% of  judges on a panel that it was a real boy. This occurred on the sixty year anniversary of Alan Turing's passing. He predicted by 2000 that computers would be intelligent enough to trick a human into thinking they are real 30% of the time.


Advances in Artificial Intelligence are occurring every day and this timeline only gives a glimpse into the world of AI. This is a launching point for a white paper that will take a deeper look into how Artificial Intelligence will impact the nonprofit arts world and why we should care. Stay tuned to discover how AI will enable you to work smarter!

To learn more about AI in museums click here!

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