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Why is everyone so excited about deep learning?

June 11, 2014

Pete Warden's blog


Photo by Narisa

Yesterday a friend emailed, asking “What’s going on with deep learning? I keep hearing about more and more companies offering it, is it something real or just a fad?“. A couple of years ago I was very skeptical of the hype that had emerged around the whole approach, but then I tried it, and was impressed by the results I got. I still try to emphasize that they’re not magic, but here’s why I think they’re worth getting excited about.

They work really, really well

Neural networks have been the technology-of-the-future since the 1950’s, with massive theoretical potential but lacklustre results in practice. The big turning point in public perception came when a deep learning approach won the equivalent of the World Cup for computer vision in 2012. Just look at the results table, the Super Vision team, Alex Krizhevsky, Ilya Sutskever, and Geoffrey…

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