Andrew Blake, Distinguished Scientist, Lab Director of Microsoft Research Cambridge. Discusses the question of whether intelligent systems will turn out to depend more on theories and models, or simply on largely amorphous networks trained on data at ever great scale. The world of computer science and artificial intelligence can indulge in a bit of cautious celebration. There are several examples of machines that have the gift of sight, even if to a degree that is primitive on the scale of human or animal abilities. Machines can: navigate using vision; separate object from background; recognize a variety of objects, including the limbs of the human body. These abilities are great spin-offs in their own right, but are also part of an extended adventure in understanding the nature of intelligence.