The AI Hype cycle


Abhishek Yadav

ரூபீ ப்ரோக்ராமர்

Who is this ?

By Unknown -, Public Domain,

The imitation game

By Juan Alberto Sánchez Margallo -, CC BY 2.5,

  • A human, a computer, and a (human) interrogator are in three different rooms.
  • The interrogator’s goal is to distinguish the human from the computer
  • The interrogator can ask  a series of questions and read their typewritten responses
  • The computer’s goal is to convince the interrogator that it is the human

The imitation game - prediction

By 2000, machines with 100MB of storage, can fool 30% judges in 5 mins - Turing (1952)

Whats this ?

  1. A vacuum tube
  2. A neural network
  3. A neuron
  4. SNARC

Image courtesy Gregory Loan (


  • Stochastic neural analog reinforcement calculator
  • Built by Marvin Lee Minsky, Dean Edmonds
  • In 1951
  • Models a rat searching food in maze
  • The first neural network

Marvin Minsky

  • Created 7,4 Turing machine
  • Invented head-mounted graphical display
  • Wrote Perceptrons
  • Advised 2001: A Space Odyssey

Image courtesy: Wikipedia - 

Who's this ?

Image courtesy: By Jeff Kubina from Columbia, Maryland - John McCarthy, CC BY-SA 2.0,

John McCarthy

Image courtesy: By Jeff Kubina from Columbia, Maryland - John McCarthy, CC BY-SA 2.0,

  • Coined the term Artificial Intelligence
  • Created LISP
  • Invented garbage collector
  • (Many more contributions)

1956, Dartmouth Conference, started AI as a field

More predictions

Within ten years a digital computer will be the world's chess champion - Simon and Navell, 1958


Within our lifetime machines may surpass us in general intelligence - Minsky, 1961


Within a generation, I am convinced, few compartments of intellect will remain outside the machine's realm – the problem of creating ‘artificial intelligence’ will be substantially solved - Minsky, 1967

It was here

Winter has come

  • By mid 70s, predictions remained unfulfilled
  • US and British governments withdrew funding
  • Japanese govt stayed put, but withdrew funding by 1980
  • 1974-82 AI Winter

Winter has come


  • Insufficient computing power
  • Scientists underestimated how human brain functions

The predictions ?

  • Minsky published Perceptrons, in 1969, that detailed the limitations (of hidden layer perceptron) - deterred people from research for many years
  • John McCarthy - because what you want is 1.7 Einsteins and 0.3 of the Manhattan Project, and you want the Einsteins first. I believe it’ll take five to 500 years

AI winter Other impacts

  • Backpropagation remained un-noticed
    Several research works remained ignored till 1982
  • RNN (Recurrent Neural Networks) remained un-noticed
  • People started avoiding the term Artificial Intelligence


  • Mixed progress, but no hype
  • Research progressed.
    Hype cycles covered by PCs, Internet, supercomputing, Web2.0 etc

2012 onwards

  • 2012: University of Toronto research paper reduces error rates by 50% [1] using Deep Convolutional Network
  • 2015: Google projects using Deep Learning - 2700
  • 2016: Project Oxford by Microsoft


2012 onwards
Hype again ?

  • Big companies investing heavily
  • Startups and VCs investing
  • Governments investing (China, France)
  • Open source getting involved
  • Cheaper computing power, cheap provisioning (cloud)
  • Big data - mature tools and tech, more available data

2012 onwards

  • 2029 - Long Bet Project - lengthy Turing test - Mitch Kapoor and Ray Kurzweil
  • 2029 - Turing-test capable computers manufacturing - Ray Kurzweil (revised from 2020 in 2005)

Where are we ?



By Abhishek Yadav