January 15, 2022
This week in The History of AI at AIWS.net – Arthur Samuel popularises the term “machine learning” in 1959 in his article “Some Studies in Machine Learning Using the Game of Checkers”.
Arthur L. Samuel was an American computer scientist. He was a pioneer in the field of computer gaming and artificial intelligence. Born in 1901, he studied at the College of Emporia for his Bachelor and MIT for his Master. His Samuel Checkers-playing Program was one of the first successful self-learning programs and was a basis for this article that coined “machine learning”. He was notable for his works at IBM and Stanford. Samuel won the Computer Pioneer Award in 1987 for his contributions to computer science and AI. He passed away in 1990.
“Machine learning” is the study of computers that can self-improve through time and experience. It is often considered a part in the development of artificial intelligence. Although the study has existed before 1959, with this program and also developments such as the Dartmouth Conference, helped the field become more active. A subset of machine learning, deep learning, has also been gaining traction lately.
The article that he wrote on this program and “machine learning” can be read and downloaded here.
This is important to the history of AI in that it popularises the term “machine learning”, which is an important aspect of artificial intelligence. Arthur Samuel is also one of the pioneers in computer science and AI.