Neurons spike back

Neurons Spike Back (https://neurovenge.antonomase.fr/) was featured in the latest data science weekly newsletter. I would normally pass on such long articles, but the history of AI is interesting, so I gave it a shot. Reading the paper felt like a marathon, and I only completed it through sheer force of will, lots of coffee, and because it is cold and raining outside.

The article is very difficult to read (at least for me), not because it is filled with theory, but because the language is dry and academic, and it tries to condense decades of history around the research of AI into a fairly short (given the topic) article that discusses two opposing sides of research and thought: connectionist and symbolic AI.

Despite my warning above, if you have the patience, I found it to be a fairly good overview of how we ended up where we are today with deep learning dominating the state of the art for AI in many fields.

I found it particularly interesting to learn about the Mark I, a hardware neural network constructed during the 1960’s for simple object recognition. It is a good reminder that the concepts we are using today have been around for a very long time, and I often find that knowing a bit of the history behind them help understand what we are doing in the present.

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