Article Part 3: The history of AI – From the “AI Winter” to the final breakthrough
In cooperation with Venionaire Capital, DerBrutkasten.com publishes a four-part article series on the subject of artificial intelligence. We are concentrating on the economic aspects of how AI works to the current research and the future of artificial intelligence.
In the first article we described “Artificial Intelligence (AI)” as the ability of a machine to learn and adapt from its own experience. The second article was about the basis concept of AI and in the third part, we will provide an overview of research, trends and leading companies in the field.
Artificial intelligence is often seen as a new world conquered just by brave pioneers from Silicon Valley. In reality, however, the subject had a lot of ups and downs. The breakthrough seemed only a matter of time, but the researchers underestimated the problem that words can have different meanings in different contexts. The US Government cancelled the financing and this this period was referred to as “AI Winter” in analogy to the concept of “nuclear winter”.
Historically, there have always been such drought periods. The result of financial incidences were fewer research activities. Over and over again there were deep and then high phases (“AI Sommer”).
After a difficult situation in the early 1990s, the AI industry was finally recovering in the 2000s. The upturn was supported not so much by governments but by tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft or the Chinese company Baidu. The basis for the rapidly growing commercial interest are the computer systems that now enable the broad use of AI technologies for the first time.
The search engine giant Google is one of the leading companies when it comes to the topic of artificial intelligence. The main focus of their research (see research.google.com) is Machine Learning, Natural Language Understanding, the entire health care system, the perceptive abilities of machines, robotics and, interestingly, the creation of music and art. Thereby “deep learning” plays a very important role, for example Google’s Alpha Go, which clearly defeated the professional Go player Fan Hui and later Lee Sedol.
The question that is important to investors is, of course, whether the high phase is only a hype or sustainable. In contrast to the past, AI is already being used in everyday life.
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