As a newcomer maybe it’ll help if I share my story. (And also this seems to have devolved into an opinion piece). I entered the AI world with LISP and Prolog, and took part in and observed the rise of python. I also had a front row seat to to the rise of ruby on rails.
I see many of the same environmental, cultural and tech forces at play around Julia, except wrt the math and science domains, which I also see practical AI (data science, computer vision, natural language processing) needing to borrow more and more from.
The rise of python and rails happened in spite of c++ and Java. I see Julia having a high probability doing the same thing, ironically in spite of pythons success. Julia seems to lower the barrier of entry into computational math by constructing a good type system and exposing all the low level code to anyone.
I don’t chose Julia cause it’s the next python, it’s just the next step in tech progress IMO. I could still do many things with python but I chose not too because I am betting that Julia is the future.
Im actually much happier with static type systems and AOT compilation, but I understand the design decisions in Julia and I’m cool with it. I’m actually much h happier solving my problems than I am using AOT so i make the trade-off.
For me Julia is an investment in the future and for that it’s worth the cost to switch. But I’ve also gained more insight into how programming languages work and broadening my understanding by learning Julia.
Hope that helps give another point of view and an example for why I personally switched, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.