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Monday, March 26, 2018

What Comes Next After the Algorithm

Nice thoughtful piece from William Vorhies.   My take, we need to get better ways to attach algorithms (the magic) to Work (the process).     He hints at it.   Simple as that, with lots of details to do.

What Comes After Deep Learning    by William Vorhies in DSC
Summary: We’re stuck.  There hasn’t been a major breakthrough in algorithms in the last year.  Here’s a survey of the leading contenders for that next major advancement.

We’re stuck.  Or at least we’re plateaued.  Can anyone remember the last time a year went by without a major notable advance in algorithms, chips, or data handling?  It was so unusual to go to the Strata San Jose conference a few weeks ago and see no new eye catching developments.

As I reported earlier, it seems we’ve hit maturity and now our major efforts are aimed at either making sure all our powerful new techniques work well together (converged platforms) or making a buck from those massive VC investments in same.

I’m not the only one who noticed.  Several attendees and exhibitors said very similar things to me.  And just the other day I had a note from a team of well-regarded researchers who had been evaluating the relative merits of different advanced analytic platforms, and concluding there weren’t any differences worth reporting.

Why and Where are We Stuck?

Where we are right now is actually not such a bad place.  Our advances over the last two or three years have all been in the realm of deep learning and reinforcement learning.  Deep learning has brought us terrific capabilities in processing speech, text, image, and video.  Add reinforcement learning and we get big advances in game play, autonomous vehicles, robotics and the like.

We’re in the earliest stages of a commercial explosion based on these like the huge savings from customer interactions through chatbots; new personal convenience apps like personal assistants and Alexa, and level 2 automation in our personal cars like adaptive cruise control, accident avoidance braking, and lane maintenance.   .... " 

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