July 30, 2021
This week in The History of AI at AIWS.net – the Dartmouth Conference began on 18 June 1956. This gathering would run through the entire summer at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
The Dartmouth Conference was originally dreamt up by John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, Nathaniel Rochester, and Claude Shannon. They envisioned a workshop to connect computer and information sciences with the brain. In addition to asking for funding, they also determined that Dartmouth College was the location to host such event.
At the actual event, various attendees came and go throughout the (approximate) eight weeks the workshop ran for. On weekdays, the participants had the top floor of the Mathematics Department at Dartmouth College to present their ideas, as well as having general discussions held. Participants and members (outside of the authors) of the discussions and presentations included, but not limited to, Ray Solomonoff, Arthur Samuel, Herbert Simon, Allen Newell, and Oliver Selfridge.
This event marks one of the beginnings of AI – the conception of what AI is and AI could be. Without a seminal event like this, AI would not exist or may have taken a different direction entirely. Thus, the HAI project considers the Conference an event in the History of AI.