With this article, my intention is to look back to history and to go to the origins of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
February 1956: A demo of a computer playing checkers
The first checker program for the IBM 701 mainframe was written in 1952 but the first program with learning was completed in 1955. Arthur Samuel demonstrated it on TV on February 24, 1956.
June 1956: The first usage of "Artificial Intelligence"
John McCarthy, a young (29 y-o) Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Dartmouth College proposed a conference in the summer of 1956 with 20 attendees, including Arthur Samuel. This is known as the first time the term “Artificial Intelligence” was coined.
July 1959: The first usage of "Machine Learning"
On July 1959, Arthur Samuel is publishing “Some Studies in Machine Learning Using the Game of Checkers“, the first known document defining “Machine Learning“. Checkers was used instead of chess as it was relatively more simple.
With classical programming language, computers are told to do exactly what to do. With Machine Learning, you don’t give detailed explicit instructions. Instead, you give the “machine” the data and tools it needs to study the problem and solve it without being told what to do. You also give the computer the ability to remember what it did, so that it can adapt, evolve, and learn.
1997: IBM Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov at chess
Much later, the Development of Deep Blue chess software began in 1985 at Carnegie Mellon University and IBM hired quickly the team. In 1996, Deep Blue won 1 game out of 6 against world chess champion Garry Kasparov but Kasparov was still won by Kasparov. The second time, in 1997, Deep Blue won the match.
IBM Deep Blue used brute force computing to execute alpha-beta search (aka Alpha-beta pruning) algorithms in parallel. In 1997, Deep Blue was the 259th most powerful supercomputer in the world.
Arthur Samuel, Wikipedia
Some studies in machine learning using the game of Checkers, CiteSeerX, Arthur Samuel, 1959
A ‘Brief’ History of Game AI Up To AlphaGo, Andrey Kurenkov, April 18, 2016
Gary Kasparov vs. IBM Deep Blue, Peter Morgan/Reuters