AI : The new arms race?

Part 1


AI is went mainstream last year. But AI has been there from a long time. Since the 60's. Why it has become a hot technology suddenly?  

To answer this, let's travel back in time. To the 60's.
It was 60's when the first AI boom was happened. (Also, bust)
Researchers made grand claims about creating a generalized AI system that can solve any given problem in the next 20 years. Billions of dollars were invested in R&D. Suddenly everyone was hyped about this. (Just like whats happening now)

At the time, there were AI systems that could solve problems that were hard for humans. Something that required prior knowledge. Things like diagnosing a disease.

And researchers assumed that the problems that are hard for humans are hard for computers also. So if they could solve hard problems, they can solve everything else.

They completely overlooked easier problems (For humans) like character recognition. Its only a decade later they started realize that it wasn't true. "Easy" problems like walking, detecting objects etc were actually hard for a computer.

The problems that required knowledge could be broken down in a rule based manner but the easy problems couldn't be broken down into steps. 
So by 80's investors became skeptical and stopped funding. And the AI research was almost completely stopped. An AI winter came.

Silicon valley became busy with personal computers, world wide web etc. But there were some researchers still working silently on AI. Well, a part of AI called machine learning. It was in this time most of the elegant algorithms were built but it went unnoticed until 2000's.

Till 2000 to 2012 machine learning was a niche market. Then there was an overlooked machine learning method (essentially an algorithm) which till then no one really used called deep neural networks was used in Google brain team. They called it deep learning.

The remarkable thing about this was it outperformed every other machine learning algorithms when given a huge amount of data and computing power.

We'll talk about it in part 2.

This article is sponsored by NucleAI. An AI startup that provides customized machine learning solutions. Check out their website to learn more.

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