Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

End of the AI Winter?

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Congrats go out to Yann LeCun, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yoshua Bengio, three researchers whose work on neural networks led to their being awarded this year’s Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery.

The Turing Award was introduced in 1966 and includes a $1 million prizee, which the three scientists will share, according to a report from The New York Times.

Over the past decade, the big idea nurtured by these researchers has reinvented the way technology is built, accelerating the development of face-recognition services, talking digital assistants, warehouse robots and self-driving cars. Dr. Hinton is now at Google, and Dr. LeCun works for Facebook. Dr. Bengio has inked deals with IBM and Microsoft.

“What we have seen is nothing short of a paradigm shift in the science,” said Oren Etzioni, the chief executive officer of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle and a prominent voice in the A.I. community. “History turned their way, and I am in awe.”

The Verge also recognized the trio, suggesting that their persistence helped bring a close to the seemingly interminable AI winter:

The trio’s achievements are particularly notable as they kept the faith in artificial intelligence at a time when the technology’s prospects were dismal.

AI is well-known for its cycles of boom and bust, and the issue of hype is as old as the field itself. When research fails to meet inflated expectations it creates a freeze in funding and interest known as an “AI winter.” It was at the tail end of one such winter in the late 1980s that Bengio, Hinton, and LeCun began exchanging ideas and working on related problems. These included neural networks — computer programs made from connected digital neurons that have become a key building block for modern AI.

“There was a dark period between the mid-90s and early-to-mid-2000s when it was impossible to publish research on neural nets, because the community had lost interest in it,” says LeCun. “In fact, it had a bad rep. It was a bit taboo.”

Perhaps the AI winter is over and sprin is coming.

In any case, there’s plenty more to do, but this is well-deserved recognition for some of AI’s most recent pioneers operating on the far reaches of the frontier.

Written by turbotodd

March 27, 2019 at 11:44 am

Posted in 2019, AI

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One Response

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  1. 1>0?

    amandabyg123

    March 27, 2019 at 1:27 pm


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