|Submited on :||Tue, 13th of Feb 2018 - 00:18:05 AM|
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|Post Name :||t3_7x1tjl|
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All I could think reading this title was that when the singularity comes and skynet is killing us all, anyone asking for help is going to be told “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?”
Transfer functions are probably not a useful approach to robotics. However, I recall a discussion at one Farnborough air show where the Russian and Us approaches to aerospace engineering was set in contrast. The US offered flying bricks that were kept aloft by constant electronic nudges. The Russian systems relied upon flexible components, which bent in just the right way when stress was applied to them. The one was a flying supercomputer. The other had its reflexes built into its structure, like an animal. The Russian fighter required a team of about a dozen to keep it flying, the US jet over a hundred.
This is pretty much what is happening with neural networks. Hard engineered solutions, such as early self-nav cars, rely on crunch and human-designed, algorithms that embody purposeful thought. Softer ,Big Data solutions, rely on neural networks to develop principle components that have no prior thought in them, but which partition the data usefully. That's how our own mental processes work for 95%+ of the time, with "rational thought" a (useful) bolt on. Mr Spock would find walking pretty difficult if he had to think about every muscle and every step.
The difference has been called "synthetic" and "analytic" knowledge. Analytic knowledge allows me to write a book on how to program in JS, and you can read it and immediately start typing. Synthetic knowledge, by contrast, is like teaching the violin, or how to ride a bicycle. No amount of instruction will do the job alone. You need to learn by repetition. Transfer functions in control theory are highly analytic, but what is often needed is more synthetic understanding. That's where NNs have a role to play.
Your options are: 50 hawks, 10 crocodiles, 3 brown bears, 15 wolves, 1 hunter, 7 cape buffalo, 10,000 rats, 5 gorillas and 4 lions - you must pick 2 that will defend you while the rest are coming to kill you. Which do you pick and why?