For Artificial Intelligence to succeed, we need intelligence and an artifact. The computer has been the preferred artifact. The computer ele- The modern digital electronic computer was created independently and almost simultaneously by by scientists from three countries that were participating in World War II. World War II. The first operational computer was Heath Robinson's machine, built in 1940 by Alan Turing's team with a single purpose: to single purpose: to decipher German messages. In 1943, the same group developed the Colossus, a powerful general-purpose machine based on electronic valves. The first operational programmable computer was the Z-3, created by Konrad Zuse in Germany in 1941. Zuse also created floating-point numbers and the first high-level programming language, called plankalkül. The first electronic computer, the ABC, was assembled by John Atanasoff and his student Clifford Berry between 1940 and 1942 at Lowa State University in the United States. Atanasoff's research received little support or recognition; it was the ENIAC, developed as part of a secret military project at the University Of Pennsylvania by a team that included John Mauchly and John Eckert, two scientists who proved to be the most influential the most influential precursors of modern computers.
Over the next half-century, each generation of computer hardware brought an increase in speed and capacity and a reduction in price. O performance is doubled every 18 months or so, and it is expected that decades of future growth at this rate. After that we will need molecular engineering or some other new technology. Of course, calculation devices existed before the electronic computer. The first automated machines, dating back to the 17th century. A was a loom created in 1805 by Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752 - 1834) that used punched cards to store instructions instructions regarding the pattern to be woven. In the mid-19th century, Charles Babbage (1792 - 1871) designed two machines, but did not complete either one. The "Differential Machine" was intended to calculate mathematical mathematical tables for engineering and scientific projects. It was finally was finally built and shown to be functional in 1991 at the Science Museum in London (Swade, 1993). (Swade, 1993). Babbage's "Analytical Machine" was far more ambitious, it included addressable memory, stored programs and conditional jumps, and was the first artifact capable of universal computing.