Artificial Intelligence (AI) has covered a long journey since its inception in the mid-50s when the Father of Artificial Intelligence John McCarthy first stated that it’s possible to train and infuse intelligence into machines. Then John McCarthy had said that “every feature of intelligence or learning aspects in principle can be so precisely described that a machine can seamlessly simulate it.” Obviously, things have changed so much in the last 7 decades around AI engineering and development that we firmly believe that not only humans but also machines can be used to train and embed intelligence into other machines and software programs. But, John McCarthy is not the only person who worked towards making AI what it is today. There are numerous personalities and celebrity data scientists who worked tirelessly on AI and machine learning philosophies and extended their research beyond the traditional scope of machine level AI training and engineering.
Here’s the list of legendary industry thought leaders who made AI one of the richest industries in the world today.
The AI world would have been hard to conceive if Asimov wouldn’t have used his creativity in writing sci-fi stories and essays for the later generation to actually realize how much effort has actually gone into producing the Robo simulation platforms that we see in manufacturing and chatbot industries. If you wish to understand the AI works inspired by Asimov’s writings, grab a copy of his popular novels – The Robot Series, ‘I, Robot’, The Complete Robot, and The Bicentennial Man, and others. His works in stitching together sci-fi with technologies of the future certainly helped bring AI ML close to latent emerging concepts in genetics, bionics, and computer vision.
I had the good fortune of hearing tons of lectures and reading his work on AI and cognitive science during my initial years as an AI developer. Marvin Minsky is often attributed as the data scientist who inspired Issac Asimov to write his novels on the future of robots and the AI world. A lifelong celebrity professor at MIT for over 50 years, Marvin worked closely with the Father of AI, John McCarthy, and together they laid the foundation stones of the world’s top AI research lab, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Marvin worked as an advisor to many sci-fi books and movies that showcased the power of robotics and neural networks. In fact, Arthur C Clarke even mentioned Marvin Minsky’s name in one of his novels, honoring Marvin with the credible attribution to a yet to arrive future innovation in AI. Something we all now know as Artificial Neural Networks and Self-replicating ML models for artificial brains.
AI legend Kevin Warwick is also associated with the neural networking projects.
Back in the days of John McCarthy when scientists would ask “Can machines really think?” Joshua Lederberg and his AI team achieved the unprecedented success of making machines not just think but also deliver results in an automated fashion.
Joshua Lederberg is a Noble laureate who won the award for his role in molecular biology. But, it’s his work with a NASA project for Mars that earned him his entry into the league of top brains in AI technology. Joshua led the project DENDRAL, the world’s first AI ecosystem built specifically to develop machine algorithms for the study of organic chemistry and automated decision making in this field. Joshua, together with other computer scientists, developed Meta Dendral and Heuristic Dendral, built on Lisp programming language.
If you love to explore AI’s potential role in transforming organic chemistry, check out Joshua’s “How Dendral Was Conceived and Born” published on Dendritic algorithms.
Back in the 90s, the AI chess machine was a crazy hysteria, and the IBM Deep Blue chess computer showed us where AI is heading! Yes, Feng is the mastermind of this AI chess platform, whose idea led to the creation of the project Deep Thought, which ultimately got picked by IBM and later defeated grandmasters. Feng’s work on AI continues to inspire nanotech engineers and chipset manufacturers who have brought us to the new era of embedded AI, GPUs, and supercomputing.