AI Winter Coming?

Yes, there is a lot of hype about AI these days. But “is it to stay, or will it fade away as it has in the past?”, asked by Kathleen Walch, Managing Partner & Principal Analyst at AI Focused Research and Advisory firm Cognilytica, also co-host of the popular AI Today podcast, in her contributing article recently published on Forbes.

AI started around 1956, followed by much interest and investment occurred through the early 1970s. This first major wave produced some of the earliest and most impressive advancements in AI, but was put on hold in the mid 1970s. The main reason? Big “dream” about failed to deliver due to limitation in computational capability.

The second wave of AI adoption resurfaced in the 1980’s thanks to the popularity of desktop computers. These low-cost computers replaced expensive mainframes in building expert systems to automate decision-making. Increasing interests from the industry created a high expectation for what AI could do. However, storage was still expensive in the 1980s, limiting the effectiveness of data-hungry expert systems. Businesses lost appetite, leading to another winter for AI.

Entered today’s AI. Storage is cheap. Data and computing power are abundant. Breakthroughs in algorithms. And a lot of expectations. Learning from the past, one might wonder another AI hybernation possibly coming. What could be the reason? Should we not over-promise to avoid under-delivery? Third time a charm, and we better not miss it. Read the full Forbes article here.