The History of Neural Networks and AI: Part II

This article is the second article in a three-part series about the history of neural networks and artificial intelligence. To view the first article, click here.

After the beginning era of AI, a British researcher specializing in artificial intelligence, Donald Michie, designed a machine made from matchboxes in 1963 that functioned similarly to neural networks.

The Start of Machine Learning in Gaming

Prior to his work in AI, Michie worked at Bletchley Park during World War II, contributing to the creation of algorithms that deciphered the key German teleprinter cipher and working alongside other brilliant minds that paved the way in computer science such as Alan Turing. Following his work during the war, Michie constructed one of the first programs with the ability to learn how to play a perfect game of Noughts and Crosses, also known as Tic-Tac-Toe, in 1960. The program was referred to as the Machine Educable Noughts And Crosses Engine (MENACE). Since computers as we know them were not readily available, Michie created MENACE from 300 match boxes and taught it how to play Noughts and Crosses

MENACE worked by each of the 300 match boxes containing a distinctive Noughts and Crosses board configuration. Each of the match boxes held colored beads that represented a maneuver in that specific board configuration.