Thursday, July 31, 2014

A short piece on deep learning

The new AI is called "deep learning." There is a lot of money going into it (Google, I think just bought Hinton, the big cheese in this area) and a lot of useful applications being explored.  It is, of course, being trotted out as the new panacea for cognitive theory.  Sadly (or maybe happily), the stuff is beyond my pay-grade, but the little I understand of it makes it look a lot like the structuralist discovery procedures of yore. Here's a very short article on it in the Financial Times. I'm not sure whether you will be able to get to it as it matt be behind a paywall.  If you can get to it, it's worth a look.  What I liked is the blend of respect for what it can do combined with a certain skepticism regarding the more grandiose claims. Here's a taste from Oren Etzioni.

“There are plenty of exciting individual applications. But if you scratch a little deeper, the technology goes off a cliff,” he said.

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