"The Brain Makers", by HP Newquist

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John Nagle

Apr 16, 1994, 1:44:34 PM4/16/94
Just out: "The Brain Makers", by Harvey Newquist, an expose of the
AI business in the 1980s. All the major players are mentioned and,
generally, trashed. A fun read, especially if you were around for the
"AI boom". Newquist analyzes the Symbolics debacle, the LMI debacle,
the Gold Hill debacle, the Intellicorp debacle...

John Nagle

Hans Moravec

Apr 16, 1994, 9:50:03 PM4/16/94

Not to be confused with also just out "Brainmakers", by David
H. Freedman, a Discover writer, who trashes top-down, and praises
bottom-up AI research.
Hans Moravec

Jorn Barger

Apr 22, 1994, 6:58:52 PM4/22/94

Thanks for this interesting reference! It's from Sams, $24.95 hardbound,
and totally readable and engaging, although from its emphasis it might
be called "The Great LISP-Machine Bubble"...

Here's a synopsis of the book, in the form of a timeline:

1953: Shannon gives Minsky and McCarthy summer jobs at Bell Labs
1956: Rockefeller funds M&M's AI conference at Dartmouth
1956: CIA funds GAT machine-translation project
1958: McCarthy creates first LISP
1959: M&M establish MIT AI Lab
1959: Frank Rosenblatt introduces Perceptron
1962: McCarthy moves to Stanford, creates Stanford AI Lab in '63
1963: ARPA gives $2 million grant to MIT AI Lab

1965: Feigenbaum takes over SAIL; Noftsker takes over MIT AI Lab
1965: Feigenbaum and Lederberg begin DENDRAL expert system project
1966: Weizenbaum and Colby create ELIZA
1966: Donald Michie founds Edinburgh AI lab
1966: ALPAC report kills funding for machine translation
1967: Greenblatt's MacHack defeats Hubert Deyfus at chess
1969: Minsky & Papert's "Perceptrons" kills funding for neural net research
1969: Kubrick's "2001" introduces AI to mass audience

1970: Terry Winograd's SHRDLU, minor NLP success
1970: Colmerauer creates PROLOG
1972: DARPA cancels funding for robotics at Stanford (Shakey)
1973: Lighthill report kills AI funding in UK
1973: LOGO funding scandal: Minsky & Papert turn MIT lab over to Winston
1974: Edward Shortliffe's thesis on MYCIN
1975: Larry Harris found Artificial Intelligence Corp. to sell NLP
1975: Cooper & Erlbaum found Nestor to develop neural net technology
1976: DARPA cancels funding for speech understanding research
1976: Greenblatt creates first LISP machine, "CONS"

1978: Xerox steals BBN's hackers to build LISP machine
1978: SRI's PROSPECTOR discovers molybdenum vein
1979: Schank founds Cognitive Systems, insists on BMW "for safety"
1980: First AAAI conference at Stanford
1980: Prototype of Dipmeter Advisor
1980: McDermott's XCON for configuring VAX systems
1980: Greenblatt & Jacobson found LMI; Noftsker starts Symbolics
1981: Teknowledge founded by Feigenbaum.
1981: Kazuhiro Fuchi announces Japanese Fifth Generation Project
1982: John Hopfield resuscitates neural nets

1983: Feigenbaum's 5th Generation book sounds alarm, guest on Merv Griffin
1983: Symbolics' new-machine hype drives LMI into arms of TI
1983: MCC consortium formed under Bobby Ray Inman
1983: Symbolics saved by Howard Cannon's hacking protypes of 3600
1983: Symbolics fires Common LISP team, who start Lucid
1983: IntelliGenetics markets KEE
1983: DARPA's Stategic Computing Initiative commits $600 million over 5 yrs

1984: Gold Hill creates Golden Common LISP
1984: Bruce Gras creates K:Base for Shearson, then leaves it orphaned
1984: Noftsker (briefly) replaced by Kulp at Symbolics
1984: Austin AAAI conference launches AI into financial spotlight
1984: AI firms find sales and marketing people seriously clueless
1984: European Community starts ESPRIT program
1984: Doug Lenat begins CYC project at MCC
1984: Perez & Rapaport start Neuron Data, selling Nexpert for the Mac
1984: Phil Cooper founds Palladian, spends money like no one else
1984: TI wins MIT contract for LISP machines away from Symbolics
1984: GM puts $4 million into Teknowledge
1984-86: Corporations invest some $50 million in AI startups

1985: Xerox wins $20 million contract for LISP machines, later cancelled
1985: Palladian releases Financial Adviser, despite tons of bugs
1985: UCLA IJCAI conference wallows in marketing excesses
1985: GM and Campbell's Soup find expert systems don't need LISP machines
1985: Teknowledge abandons LISP and PROLOG for C

1986: Teknowledge goes public, amid wild optimism
1986: Borland offers Turbo PROLOG for $99
1986: Paperback Software offers VP Expert for $99
1986: Thinking Machines, Inc introduces Connection Machine
1986: Neural net startup companies appear
1986: IBM enters AI fray at AAAI, with a LISP, a PROLOG, and an ES shell
1986: PICON ES group leaves LMI and starts Gensym

1987: "AI Winter" sets in
1987: Bottom drops out of LISP-machine market due to saturation
1987: LMI files for bankruptcy, other bankruptcies and layoffs follow
1987: Palladian's software doesn't work, Phil Cooper resigns
1987: George Lucas's Pixar signs deal with Symbolics

1988: Symbolics fires Noftsker and Sear, replacement team flounders
1988: TI announces microExplorer- a Mac with a LISP chip
1988: Minneapolis AAAI is the last hurrah for the party atmosphere
1988: AI revenues peak at $1 billion
1988: Beleaguered Teknowledge merges with American Cimflex, to no avail
1988: The 386 chip brings PC speeds into competition with LISP machines
1988: Object-oriented languages are 'in'
1988: Schank forced to resign from Yale and Cognitive Systems

1989: Palladian ceases operation
1989: Coral sells out to Apple
1989: Schank reappears at Northwestern, funded by Andersen Consulting
1990: MacArthur Foundation gives Richard Stallman $240,000 genius grant
1990: AICorp goes public
1990: Gold Hill closes doors
1990: AAAI in Boston resembles a wake (as did 1989 AAAI in Detroit)

1991: KnowledgeWare reneges on offer to buy IntelliCorp
1992: Japanese Fifth Generation Project ends with a whimper
1992: Japanese Real World Computing Project begins with big money
1993: Symbolics files for bankruptcy
1993: Kurzweil AI goes public
1985-present: many other expert-systems success stories

Jorn Barger

Apr 23, 1994, 2:17:01 PM4/23/94
David Pautler <pau...@ils.nwu.edu> wrote:
>The book ignores Newell and Simon?

Nope. It actually has lots more of the predictable Mary-Shelley-Ada-
Lovelace-Edgar-Allen-Poe cliches. (Who cares? ;^/

ps, though: I forgot to mention its subtitle: "Genius, Ego, and Greed
in the Quest for Machines that Think"... yowzah!

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