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Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, and Machine Learning: A Primer

AI has suffered through many AI winters: Is springtime finally here?

Frank Chen of a16z is highly regarded as one of the great creators of Silicon Valley. He is also one of the great teacher/mentors and this video on Artificial Intelligence proves that.

Frank provides a fantastic overview of Artificial Intelligence (AI), including its history, its roots in human mythology and fiction, and its birthday!  The term Artificial Intelligence, the birthday can be marked in the summer of 1956 when a group of researchers kicked off research at Dartmouth to research with the aim of creating an artificially intelligence being. This is the birth of the discipline.  Their research agenda: program computers to do the sophisticated mental tasks that humans can do, like reason. They also sought to help computers represent knowledge about the real world. Additionally, research was kicked off into robotics and ways for computers to plan and navigate. This includes the first self-driving robots! This summer of research also kicked off academic work into natural language processing. Vision and perception was also a key research aim flowing from this summer of AI.  The big hope was that if all the above could be taught, a kind of generalized intelligence could be build, something that is really smart, a fully autonomous, thinking robot, like C3-PO!

That was the goal. Remember, back in 1956 this was really visionary. What happened after that was a series of boom and bust scenarios where neat things were explored then people got very excited, then they failed and people got so disillusioned. These cycles were called AI winters. Frank reviews several of those.

More importantly, Frank spells out what is happening today and what we can expect in the near future.

For more on this topic see the Things Cyber Artificial Intelligence collection.

And if you are ready for some more mind-expanding thoughts on what the future of AI may bring us, we recommend the fascinating look into a potential near future in this Sci-Fi short titled: The Nostalgist.

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