Deep Learning Isn’t The End-All Be-All Solution

Pablo Cordero explains that deep learning solutions are not the best choice in all cases:

The second preconception I hear the most is the hype. Many yet-to-be practitioners expect deep nets to give them a mythical performance boost just because it worked in other fields. Others are inspired by impressive work in modeling and manipulating images, music, and language – three data types close to any human heart – and rush headfirst into the field by trying to train the latest GAN architecture. The hype is real in many ways. Deep learning has become an undeniable force in machine learning and an important tool in the arsenal of any data modeler. Its popularity has brought forth essential frameworks such as tensorflow and pytorch that are incredibly useful even outside deep learning. Its underdog to superstar origin story has inspired researchers to revisit other previously obscure methods like evolutionary strategies and reinforcement learning. But it’s not a panacea by any means. Aside from lunch considerations, deep learning models can be very nuanced and require careful and sometimes very expensive hyperparameter searches, tuning, and testing (much more on this later in the post). Besides, there are many cases where using deep learning just doesn’t make sense from a practical perspective and simpler models work much better.

It’s a very interesting article, pointing out that deep learning solutions work better than expected on smaller data sizes, but there are areas where it’s preferable to choose something else.

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