HomeNewsWe've been here before: AI promised human-like machines - in 1958

We've been here before: AI promised human-like machines – in 1958

A room-sized computer equipped with a brand new kind of circuit, the perceptron, was introduced to the world in 1958 short news report buried deep within the New York Times. The story quoted the U.S. Navy as saying that the perceptron would result in machines that “will give you the chance to walk, speak, see, write, reproduce, and concentrate on their existence.” be”.

More than six many years later, similar claims are being made about current artificial intelligence. So what has modified in the previous few years? In some ways, not much.

The field of artificial intelligence has experienced a boom-and-bust cycle since its inception. Now that the industry is booming again, many proponents of the technology appear to have forgotten the failures of the past – and the explanations behind them. While optimism drives progress, it's value taking note of history.

The perceptron, invented by Frank Rosenblattprobably put them Basics for AI. The electronic analog computer was a learning machine designed to predict whether a picture belonged to one in all two categories. This revolutionary machine was full of wires that physically connected various components together. Modern artificial neural networks, which support well-known AI comparable to ChatGPT and DALL-E, are software versions of the perceptron, but with significantly more layers, nodes and connections.

Similar to modern machine learning, if the perceptron returned the improper answer, it could change its connections in order that it could higher predict what comes next next time. Well-known modern AI systems work largely in the identical way. Using a prediction-based format, large language models or LLMs can achieve impressive results long text-based answers and link images with text to create them latest images based on prompts. These systems recuperate the more they interact with users.

A timeline of the history of AI from the Forties. Click on the creator's name here to get a PDF of this poster.
Danielle J. Williams, CC BY-ND

AI boom and bust

About a decade after Rosenblatt unveiled the Mark I Perceptron, experts say Marvin Minsky claimed that the world “have a machine with the final intelligence of a mean human“ until the mid to late Nineteen Seventies. But despite some successes, no human-like intelligence was to be found.

It quickly became apparent that the… AI systems knew nothing about their subject. Without the suitable background and contextual knowledge, it is nearly unimaginable to accurately resolve ambiguities present in on a regular basis language – a task that humans accomplish effortlessly. The first AI “winter,” or period of disillusionment, got here in 1974 perceived failure of the perceptron.

But by 1980, AI was back in business and the primary official AI boom was in full swing. There were latest ones Expert systemsAIs designed to unravel problems in specific areas of data that discover objects and Diagnose diseases using observable data. There were programs that might try this complex conclusions from easy storiesThe first driverless automobile was able to hit the streets, and Robots that might read and play music played in front of a live audience.

But it wasn't long before the identical problems stifled the joy again. The second AI winter hit got here in 1987. Expert systems failed because They couldn't handle novel information.

The Nineteen Nineties modified the best way experts approached problems in AI. Although the second winter thaw didn’t lead to an official boom, AI underwent significant changes. Researchers were working on it Problem of acquiring knowledge with data-driven approaches to machine learning, which modified the best way AI acquired knowledge.

This time it also marked a return to the neural network-style perceptron, but this version was much more complex, dynamic and, above all, digital. The return to the neural network, combined with the invention of the online browser and a rise in computing power, made it easier to gather images, seek for data, and distribute datasets for machine learning tasks.

Familiar refrains

A have a look at today: Confidence in AI progress once more reflects the guarantees made almost 60 years ago. The term “Artificial general intelligence“is used to explain the activities of LLMs as they power AI chatbots like ChatGPT. Artificial general intelligence (AGI) describes a machine whose intelligence is such as that of humans, meaning the machine is self-aware, able to problem-solving, learning, planning for the longer term, and possibly conscious.

Just as Rosenblatt thought his perceptron was the idea for a conscious, human-like machine, so too do some contemporary AI theorists take into consideration today's artificial neural networks. In 2023, Microsoft published a paper that said: “GPT-4's performance is strikingly near human-level performance.”

Three men sit on chairs on a stage
Executives at major technology corporations, including Meta, Google and OpenAI, have set their sights on developing human AI.
AP Photo/Eric Risberg

However, before claiming that LLMs exhibit human-level intelligence, it could be helpful to reflect on the cyclical nature of AI progress. Many of the identical problems that plagued previous iterations of AI still exist today. The difference is how these problems manifest themselves.

For example, the knowledge problem persists to this present day. ChatGPT continuously struggles to reply Idioms, metaphors, rhetorical questions and sarcasm – unique types of language that transcend grammatical connections and as an alternative require inference of the meaning of words based on context.

Artificial neural networks can recognize objects in complex scenes with impressive accuracy. But give an AI an image of a college bus lying on its side and it’ll most definitely do it Say it's a snow plow In 97% of cases.

Lessons to recollect

In fact, it seems AI is very easy to deceive in a way that folks would immediately recognize. I believe it’s a consideration value taking seriously given what has happened to date.

Today's AI looks very different than AI used to, but the issues of the past remain. As the saying goes, history may not repeat itself, nevertheless it often rhymes.


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