Computers may be evolving but are they intelligent?

The final in our Computing turns 60 series, to mark the 60th anniversary of the first computer in an Australian university, looks at how intelligent the technology has become. The term “artificial intelligence” (AI) was first used back in 1956 to describe the title of a workshop of scientists at Dartmouth, an Ivy League college in the United States. At that pioneering workshop, attendees discussed how computers would soon perform all human activities requiring intelligence, including playing chess and other games, composing great music and translating text from one language to another language. These pioneers were wildly optimistic, though their aspirations were unsurprising. Trying to build intelligent machines has long been a human preoccupation, both with calculating machines and in literature. Early computers from the 1940s were commonly described as…


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