Deep Learning, Part 1: Not as Deep as You Think

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Gary Marcus has emerged as one of deep learning’s chief skeptics. In a recent interview, and a slightly less recent medium post, he discusses his feud with deep learning pioneer Yann LeCun and some of his views on how deep learning is overhyped.

I find the whole thing entertaining, but at many times LeCun and Marcus are talking past each other more than with each other. Marcus seems to me to be either unaware of or ignoring certain truths about machine learning and LeCun seems to basically agree with Marcus’ ideas in a way that’s unsatisfying for Marcus.

The temptation for me to brush 10 years of dust off of my professor hat is too much to ignore. Outside observers could benefit greatly from some additional context in this discussion and in this series of posts I’ll be happy to provide some. Most important here, in my opinion…

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