Figure 2: AI's Sudden Boil: From 1960 to 1990 the cost of computers used in AI and robotics research declined from the equivalent of millions of dollars per computer in 1960 to a few thousand dollars in 1990. The computer population increased greatly, but the power available to individual AI programs remained an almost constant 1 MIPS--less than insect power. Cost per machine stabilized in 1990, and since then power has doubled yearly, to 1,000 MIPS in 2000. The major visible exception to this pattern is computer chess, shown by a progression of knights, whose prestige lured major computer companies into providing access to their most powerful machines, and researchers into developing chess-specific hardware. (Special-purpose chess machines are positioned at the minimum general-purpose computer power that could emulate them. Similarly for the organisms at the right: each marks the minimum power of a general-purpose computer that could produce similarly complex behavior, as estimated by the text's retina to robot vision criterion.)