In his article “Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions”, Rodney Brooks quotes Amara’s Law: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” In its relatively short history, AI has been overestimated several times, in the 1960s, in the 1980s, leading to the so-called, AI winters, and underestimated at least as many times. I’ve been working on AI since the late 1980s and during most of my working life I have needed to justify why was I doing research in such an esoteric field, unlikely to ever produce any useful product. But the current developments in AI and machine learning would not have been possible without the work laid out in those cold winter years.
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