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.

Related Posts

Explaining Confidence Intervals

Mala Mahadevan explains what confidence intervals are: Suppose I look at a sampling of 100 americans who are asked if they approve of the job the supreme court is doing. Let us say for simplicity’s sake that the only two answers possible are yes or no. Out of 100, say 40% say yes. As an […]

Read More

Introduction To Bayesian Statistics

Kennie Nybo Pontoppidan has just completed a course on Bayesian statistics: Last month I finished a four-week course on Bayesian statistics. I have always wondered why people deemed it hard, and why I heard that the computations quickly became complicated. The course wasn’t that hard, and it gave a nice introduction to prior/posterior distributions and […]

Read More


August 2017
« Jul Sep »