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La revanche des neurones — l'invention des machines inductives et la controverse de l'intelligence artificielle

Dominique Cardon, Jean-Philippe Cointet, Antoine Mazières

Since 2010, machine learning based predictive techniques, and more specifically deep learning neural networks, have achieved spectacular performances in the fields of image recognition or automatic translation, under the umbrella term of “Artificial Intelligence”. But their filiation to this field of research is not straightforward. In the tumultuous history of AI, learning techniques using so-called "connectionist" neural networks have long been mocked and ostracized by the "symbolic" movement. This article retraces the history of artificial intelligence through the lens of the tension between symbolic and connectionist approaches. From a social history of science and technology perspective, it seeks to highlight how researchers, relying on the availability of massive data and the multiplication of computing power have undertaken to reformulate the symbolic AI project by reviving the spirit of adaptive and inductive machines dating back from the era of cybernetics.