Why Deep Learning is Radically Different From Machine Learning

Why Deep Learning is Radically Different From Machine Learning

Why Deep Learning is Radically Different From Machine Learning

There is a lot of confusion these days about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL), yet the distinction is very clear to practitioners in these fields. Are you able to articulate the difference?

There is a lot of confusion these days about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL). There certainly is a massive uptick of articles about AI being a competitive game changer and that enterprises should begin to seriously explore the opportunities. The distinction between AI, ML and DL are very clear to practitioners in these fields. AI is the all encompassing umbrella that covers everything from Good Old Fashion AI (GOFAI) all the way to connectionist architectures like Deep Learning. ML is a sub-field of AI that covers anything that has to do with the study of learning algorithms by training with data. There are whole swaths (not swatches) of techniques that have been developed over the years like Linear Regression, K-means, Decision Trees, Random Forest, PCA, SVM and finally Artificial Neural Networks (ANN). Artificial Neural Networks is where the field of Deep Learning had its genesis from.

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Some ML practitioners who have had previous exposure to Neural Networks (ANN), after all it was invented in the early 60’s, would have the first impression that Deep Learning is nothing more than ANN with multiple layers. Furthermore, the success of DL is more due to the availability of more data and the availability of more powerful computational engines like Graphic Processing Units (GPU). This of course is true, the emergence of DL is essentially due to these two advances, however the conclusion that DL is just a better algorithm than SVM or Decision Trees is akin to focusing only on the trees and not seeing the forest.

To coin Andreesen who said “Software is eating the world”, “Deep Learning is eating ML”. Two publications by practitioners of different machine learning fields have summarized it best as to why DL is taking over the world. Chris Manning an expert in NLP writes about the “Deep Learning Tsunami“:

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Nicholas Paragios writes about the “Computer Vision Research: the Deep Depression“:

It might be simply because deep learning on highly complex, hugely determined in terms of degrees of freedom graphs once endowed with massive amount of annotated data and unthinkable — until very recently — computing power can solve all computer vision problems.

 



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