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What is a Technology Winter?

 , updated on October 01, 2016
A technology winter is a period of declining interest and investment in an advanced technology. Technological progress and investment in a fields such as artificial intelligence appear to follow a boom-and-bust cycle known as springs and winters. Springs are periods of extreme excitement, progress and investment and winters are periods of disillusionment, disappointment and stagnation. For example, artificial intelligence has undergone the following cycles:
Spring: 1956–1974
Winter: 1974–1980
Spring: 1980–1987
Winter: 1987–1993
Spring: 1993–Present
This cyclical process of technological progress is driven by periods of over-investment and over-enthusiasm whereby it is imagined that a particular technology will spark leaps forward in a wide range of industries. When these predictions fail to quickly materialize, there is a period of disillusionment in the technology and investment recedes. True innovation in the technology such as revolutionary new approaches can prolong the period of Spring. Likewise, technological setbacks can trigger a winter.
Overview: Technology Winter
DefinitionA period of stagnation in the progress of a technology.
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