Definition

AI winter

AI winter is a quiet period for artificial intelligence research and development. Over the years, funding for AI initiatives has gone through a number of active and inactive cycles. The label "winter" is used to describe dormant periods when customer interest in artificial intelligence declines.

Historically, AI winters have occurred because vendor promises have fallen short and AI initiatives have been more complicated to carry out than promised. When AI-washed products fail to deliver a robust return on investment (ROI), buyers become disappointed and direct their attention elsewhere. Use of the season winter to describe the resulting downturn emphasizes the idea that the quiet period will be a temporary state, followed again by growth and renewed interest.

In the past few years, AI has been on a long, strong upswing, but after several years of hype, advances and implementations, some analysts are predicting another AI winter. Ethics is a hot-button topic of discussion for the technology industry right now, especially in the rapidly developing fields around using large data sets to train machine learning and automated decision systems. Consumers and tech industry workers are raising questions about how automated decision-making systems are designed and what decisions they should be allowed to make, both in terms of industry verticals and specific applications within them.

To forestall another AI winter, some vendors are choosing to label software features "predictive" instead of "artificially intelligent." 

This was last updated in May 2019

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Over reliance on mechanical/electronic aids to thinking seems to be compromising younger generations cognitive abilities.  Most obviously in attention span, map reading and navigation, mental arithmetic, DIY skills, and perhaps critical thinking.  
I welcomed the introduction of school classes in the last of these skills as a positive development in the UK national curriculum during the closing years of the last century, but it has clearly failed to provide robust defence against the manipulation of social and other media by malicious malware.
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NDSmyth, you might enjoy this story about Silicon Valley parents sending their kids to low-tech schools. https://www.businessinsider.com/silicon-valley-parents-raising-their-kids-tech-free-red-flag-2018-2
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