The role of neural networks in machine learning

Neural networks (NN) hold a tremendous amount of potential for deep learning, part of a broader family of machine learning methods based on learning data representations, as opposed to task-specific algorithms. NN and deep learning are now computationally feasible due to GPUs, it shows unbeatable power on complex prediction problems that have very high dimensionality and millions-billions of samples.

An insight into philosopher Paul Feyerabend, an imaginative maverick

    "...And it is of course not true that we have to follow the truth. Human life is guided by many ideas. Truth is one of them. Freedom and mental independence are others. If Truth, as conceived by some ideologists, conflicts with freedom, then we have a choice. We may abandon freedom. But we may also abandon Truth." - "How to Defend Society Against Science", Paul Feyerabend

    Paul Feyerabend (1924-1994), having studied science at the University of Vienna, moved into philosophy for his doctoral thesis, made a name for himself both as an expositor and (later) as a critic of Karl Popper's “critical rationalism”, and went on to become one of the twentieth century's most famous philosophers of science. An imaginative maverick, he became a critic of philosophy of science itself, particularly of “rationalist” attempts to lay down or discover rules of scientific method.

    Meditative thoughts on symmetry in relation to the nature of beauty

    Tunga, Untitled, 2011, ink on paper, 29 7⁄8 × 20". From the series “La voie humide,” 2011–16.
    Symmetry is evidently a kind of unity in variety, where a whole is determined by the rhythmic repetition of similars. We have seen that it has a value where it is an aid to unification. Unity would thus appear to be the virtue of forms; but a moment's reflection will show us that unity cannot be absolute and be a form; a form is an aggregation, it must have elements, and the manner in which the elements are combined constitutes the character of the form. A perfectly simple perception, in which there was no consciousness of the distinction and relation of parts, would not be a perception of form; it would be a sensation.

    The story of how I won

    Winged Victory of Samothrace
    This is the story of how I won. This is the story of how I spoke out against wrongdoing that sought to hurt me fundamentally as a human being. I overcame these struggles with the fearlessness that has been given to me. The world is full of moral ambiguities and existential horrors. Yet I made the right decisions at the right time in such a way that I found success and happiness.

    An overview of the neuroscience of consciousness

    Alchemical Illustration from the Emerald Tablet of Hermes.
    The Tablet had such an impact on the minds of histories greatest philosophers, esotericists and mystical thinkers, that it became the esoteric industry standard for every medieval and later renaissance system of alchemy.
    Conscious experience in humans depends on brain activity, so neuroscience will contribute to explaining consciousness. What would it be for neuroscience to explain consciousness? How much progress has neuroscience made in doing so? What challenges does it face? How can it meet those challenges? What is the philosophical significance of its findings? This blogpost addresses these and related questions.

    The role of deep learning in neuroscience

    "Hidden Treasure" by Joan Belmar
    The brain is truly one of the final frontiers of human exploration. Understanding how the brain works has vast consequences for human health and for computation. Imagine how computers might change if we actually understood thinking and even consciousness. Neuroscience has focused on the detailed implementation of computation, studying neural codes, dynamics and circuits. In machine learning (ML), however, artificial neural networks tend to eschew precisely designed codes, dynamics or circuits in favor of brute force optimization of a cost function, often using simple and relatively uniform initial architectures. 

    How to become who you are, according to Nietzsche

    In "Hiking with Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are," American professor of philosophy John Kaag shows how important and salient philosophy's role in everyday life is. By hiking through mountains and experiencing what the Swiss Alps have to offer, Kaag illustrates a view of Nietzsche's life that provides an intimate understanding of the challenges Nietzsche for which the German philosopher sought answers. Comparing himself to Zarathustra and Dionysus, Nietzsche actualizes his true potential in a way that other philosophers may face struggles with. He's able to overcome the limits and disadvantages of discourse and rumination and, instead, write about the urgency of addressing issues of his time - many of which persist in the present day.

    As I finish reading this book, it's time for me to become who I am.