We Ceased To Be the Lunatic Fringe. We’re Now the Lunatic Core

Creator: Geoffrey Hinton, leading researcher in machine learning and artificial neural networks

Context: In 2014 “Wired” magazine published a profile of Hinton titled “Meet the Man Google Hired to Make AI a Reality”. AI means artificial intelligence. The article discussed the recent sea change in AI research. The term “deep learning” refers to techniques using artificial neural networks: 1

Students at universities are turning away from more traditional machine learning projects to work on deep learning, says Max Welling, a computer scientist at the University of Amsterdam. “This information has trickled down all the way to the students who are sitting in the Netherlands, far away from where all this happens. They have all picked up on it. They all know about it,” he says. “That to me is the ultimate evidence that this has propagated everywhere.”

In other words, deep learning is now mainstream. “We ceased to be the lunatic fringe,” Hinton says. “We’re now the lunatic core.”

Image Notes: Illustration of an artificial neural network by Cburnett; licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Picture of Geoffrey Hinton by Eviatar Bach; licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Images have been resized, retouched, and cropped.


  1. Website: Wired, Article title: Meet the Man Google Hired to Make AI a Reality, Article author: Daniela Hernandez, Date on website: January 16, 2014, Website description: A magazine and website that reports on technological developments and societal changes. (Accessed wired.com on May 18, 2018) link