More about the AI winter

In the deep learning community, it is common to retrospectively blame Minsky and Papert for the onset of the first ‘AI Winter,’ which made neural networks fall out of fashion for over a decade. A typical narrative mentions the ‘XOR Affair,’ a proof that perceptrons were unable to learn even very simple logical functions as evidence of their poor expressive power. Some sources even add a pinch of drama recalling that Rosenblatt and Minsky went to the same school and even alleging that Rosenblatt’s premature death in a boating accident in 1971 was a suicide in the aftermath of the criticism of his work by colleagues.