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Race to AI: the origins of artificial intelligence, from Turing to ChatGPT

Today’s poem-writing AI has ancestry in punch-card machines, trundling robots and godlike gaming engines

In the winter of 1958, a 30-year-old psychologist named Frank Rosenblatt was en route from Cornell University to the Office of Naval Research in Washington DC when he stopped for coffee with a journalist.

Rosenblatt had unveiled a remarkable invention that, in the nascent days of computing, created quite a stir. It was, he declared, “the first machine which is capable of having an original idea”.

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