AI never really worked at all, says Tim Bray in his latest installment in an interesting technology winners and losers assessment. I'm enjoying this series so far, but the AI line item struck me funny.
First of all, looking at this list, some of these technologies are very specific, such as Unix/C and SQL/RDBMS. But "AI" is a broad, 40-year-and-continuing, label for several families of hard computational problems. How can these be compared in terms of "hard to build"?
Digging into various AI categories, clearly some have been very successful, such as expert systems, and various forms of search and planning. Other categories of AI research have been "successful" in terms of learning exactly what the problems are in that category. Not all successful research results in working products.