Who is credited with coining the term "artificial intelligence"?

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jking22 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although he was not the first computer scientist to discuss computers and intelligence, John McCarthy coined the term artificial intelligence, using it for the first time at a seminal academic conference on the topic in 1956. Interestingly over the years since then, the term artificial intelligence has been used to describe many computer science phenomenon ranging from computers actually thinking, like a human or animal, to complex computer algorithms that can do things such as play chess. To this day, their is still much debate in the field as to what constitutes artificial intelligence. A number of tests have been developed to test artificial intelligence, such as the Turing Test. The Turing Test, first proposed in 1950 by Alan Turing, gauges the ability of a computer to imitate, or mimic a human. In this test, a judge converses with two unknown entities located in another room, using an intermediate source for conversation. One of these entities is a computer and one is a human. For the computer to successfully complete the Turing Test, the judge must not be able to accurately distinguish the difference between talking with a human, or talking with a computer program. This test is one of the oldest methods put forth to describe artificial intelligence, and despite criticisms it is still used today to judge computer intelligence in the annual Loebner Prize for artificial intelligence contest. 

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