Think Machine Learning is new? Try 1505


The first Mechanical Machine Learning apparatus was created in 1505 by philosopher Ramon Llull.

This diagram of “The Tree of Knowledge” actually had a physical embodiment that included rotating disks to “answer questions”, which makes it probably the first “machine learning” apparatus.
Ars Magna (“Great Art”).
“Houghton SC.L9695.482ab, 1505″ by Ramon Llull (author and philosopher) / artist unknown – *SC.L9695.482ab, Houghton Library, Harvard University”

To quote from “Ramon Llul Wikipedia”,
This figure, a “Lullian Circle,” took the form of a paper machine operated by rotating concentrically arranged circles to combine his symbolic alphabet which was repeated on each level. These combinations were said to show all possible truth about the subject of inquiry. Llull based this on the notion that there were a limited number of basic, undeniable truths in all fields of knowledge, and that we could understand everything about these fields of knowledge by studying combinations of these elemental truths.