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#TBT: When will the next harsh winter hit artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is now regarded as the all-purpose solution for many problems, but that has not always been the case. There were already two AI winters, and a new one could soon threaten to emerge. But why did artificial intelligence actually get cold feet?Jump right at it:What's an AI winter?In winter the weather cools down, it gets - at least in some places - frosty and uncomfortable. This was no different in the periods known as AI winters, but this cooling is not related to weather conditions, but to interest, research and investment in the field of artificial intelligence.First AI winter: 1974-1980With the first machine translation systems, which emerged in the 1960s and thus in the height of the Cold War, the first hype around technology began, which would later cause a sensation in artificial intelligence. The USA, in particular, jumped at the opportunity to translate news from Russia and China as quickly and automatically as possible in order to stay one step ahead of the class enemy. Even if it quickly turned out that everything was not as easy as expected, this laid the foundation for the AI boom.The American Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, abbreviated DARPA, invested huge sums in AI development and pushed the technology forward, almost without control or strict conditions for the researchers. The motto was: here's the money, make something out of it, and do it quickly!Expectations of artificial intelligence were too highIt was never going to go well. The Mansfield Amendment forced DARPA to pull up its socks and to support AI projects in a more targeted and controlled way. Researchers were now viewed more critically, and not only in the USA: in Great Britain, Professor Sir James Lighthill published the so-called Lighthill Report on artificial intelligence. He came to the conclusion that the AI was a complete failure and could not achieve anything that could not also be achieved with other scientific disciplines. Many of the highly acclaimed AI algorithms would immediately fail, he claimed, due to problems in the real world and would be nothing more than a toy.That damage had been done. AI researchers like Hans Moravec also criticized colleagues, who had aroused far too high expectations than DARPA and Co. and dared to make ever more daring predictions about the marvels of artificial intelligence. This was counterproductive: DARPA, one of the most important sponsors of AI, lost interest. Carnegie Mellon University's SUR pro ...Read more

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