Context: AI Winter
I do wonder if we should not (all) be quite so surprised to experience oscillating periods of growth and ossification in any technological endeavour. Notwithstanding expectations of endless growth that align to ascendant paradigms of socioeconomic reality, the tendency of complex systems to periodically decelerate is more than just a measure of technical difficulty or failure to match hype. There is (also) a very real sense in which the autonomously self-propagating gestalt of complex information and energy-processing (i.e. distributed, computational) systems cyclically decompress their accelerating self-gravitational cores into a broader context and culture as artefacts, entities, idioms, behavioural grammars and conceptual vocabularies.
We might expect that the intermissions between AI summers might decrease in amplitude but increase in frequency, albeit that any technological trope moving in so many different directions simultaneously might be quite able to support deceleration and stagnancy in one vector while amplifying in another. What is certain – the longer arc and trajectory is towards accelerating complexity and recursive self-propagation; my suggestion here is more that each hiatus has constructive systemic functions.