A Brief History of AI: From Fun & Games to Manufacturing Genius

Dec. 5, 2017
AI began as a tool designed to compete with human intelligence. But IBM’s latest approach is bringing the two sides together to build a brighter and more productive future in manufacturing.

If you're worried about Artificial Intelligence taking over, you're too late. That smartphone in your pocket? AI. That time-sucking social media app? Yup, AI. That cyborg currently protecting you so you can one day lead a human resistance against the machines? He's AI, too.

AI is everywhere, and not just for trite search engine shortcuts to find the best sushi-taco fusion joint or a personnel assistant to order more laundry detergent. Today, Artificial Intelligence is already at work in manufacturing, from making sense of Big Data to managing critical assets.

So here's AI's ancient origin story, and how ideas conjured millennia ago are finally paying off and taking over the work we can't—or don’t want to—do.

And to see what one of manufacturing's most powerful AI tools, Watson, can do, check out IBM's Model Factory simulation HERE.

About the Author

John Hitch | Editor, Fleet Maintenance

John Hitch, based out of Cleveland, Ohio, is the editor of Fleet Maintenance, a B2B magazine that addresses the service needs for all commercial vehicle makes and models (Classes 1-8), ranging from shop management strategies to the latest tools to enhance uptime.

He previously wrote about equipment and fleet operations and management for FleetOwner, and prior to that, manufacturing and advanced technology for IndustryWeek and New Equipment Digest. He is an award-winning journalist and former sonar technician aboard a nuclear-powered submarine where he served honorably aboard the fast-attack submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN-723).