The Art of the Neural Network

Episode 189 · September 27th, 2017 · 18 mins 6 secs

About this Episode

Technical and entertaining -- that is perhaps the best way to describe the talk Siraj Raval gave at Software Circus in Amsterdam under the big tent with a North Atlantic storm bearing down. A fitting end to a conference that was about the experience and the people as much as anything. And Raval did not disappoint.

Today, building neural networks is still like art. Artists combine existing ideas to get new results. So why are neural networks so important? Listen to Raval's talk about the experience he had in India just before the days of the conference and how he connects a horrifying beating he saw and how it relates to the role of functions, variables and mathematical optimization. Raval makes the point that our world’s problems are vast and unimaginable. We need a super intelligence to solve them. And thus the importance of neural networks.

Friday, we'll have the second installment of Raval's talk, his rap performance about neural networks. A big thanks to {code} for making our live streaming possible from Amsterdam at the fascinating Software Circus.

Episode Links

  • The Art of Building Neural Networks — Raval’s premise: building neural networks is like an art. Neural networks is a decades-old technology that has been in the public consciousness only for the past five or six years. Back in the early days, Geoffrey Hinton was building neural networks and he, too, described it as an art. Hinton had a star pupil in Ilya Sutskever, who is now the chief technology officer and co-founder of OpenAI. Hinton described Sutskever as an artist, who used hybrid parameters like a brush.