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History of AI

It may seem like artificial intelligence is a very recent phenomenon, but there is a long and extensive history of work that has led to where we are today. The timeline below highlights some of the key points in the history of artificial intelligence, stretching back to the 1940’s. Click on each date to find out more about key moments in the history of AI: 

In this activity, you will have a conversation with two famous chatbots: ELIZA and Copilot. You will try asking them some questions and comparing their responses. 

  1. Go to the ELIZA demo page and the Copilot page. Open them in separate browser tabs or windows. 
  2. Try asking ELIZA the following questions:
    • How are you feeling today?
    • What do you think about Artificial Intelligence?
  3. Now try asking Copilot the same questions.
  4. Come up with 2-3 additional questions you’d like to ask both chatbots. Topics could include hobbies, food, movies, etc.
  5. Take notes on how each chatbot responds. Pay attention to the detail, relevance, and overall coherence of their answers.

Copilot is a modern chatbot which is continually developed by Microsoft. ELIZA was made by Joseph Weizenbaum in 1966. Consider your experience of using the two chatbots and reflect on the following:  

  • How did their capabilities meet or differ from your expectations? 
  • Which responses felt more human-like or intelligent to you? 
  • What limitations did you notice for each chatbot? 
  • Based on interacting with them, how do you think chatbot technology has progressed over the decades?