Who’s That Kid Laughing With High Socks in the Middle of Summer?

The 1956 Dartmouth conference is considered the founding event of Artificial Intelligence. An atypical picture certainly brings together the main actors, but it is difficult to give a name to all the people present. I conducted the investigation…

Patrick Meyer
10 min readAug 11, 2020
7 participants at the 1956 conference. Photo credit: Margaret Minsky.

If you’re interested in the history of Artificial Intelligence, you must have heard about the Dartmouth conference. This event is considered by all as the birthplace of this field of research so present today. The Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence initiated by McCarthy was aimed at starting fundamental research groups on the subject of “thinking machines”. Held for eight weeks in Hanover (New Hampshire, US) on the campus of Dartmouth College, it brought together 20 of the most brilliant minds in computer and cognitive science for a workshop devoted to this conjecture from 18 June to 17 August 1956.

While trying to learn more about this conference, I repeatedly found a photograph of 7 people sitting on the grass. You can see them rather relaxed and this arrangement is very different from the official photos where people are lined up standing against each other. The few articles…

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Patrick Meyer

I work in the field of artificial intelligence, especially in knowledge processing and NLP. In particular, on virtual assistants since 2016.