Are Neural networks obsolete
By Lynn Parramore, senior editor at Alternet. Cross posted from Alternet
Editor's note: This is the third part in an ongoing series on job insecurity.
Machines have been relieving humans from drudgery and delighting us with their marvelous feats for thousands of years. Consider the Antikythera mechanism, a Hellenistic wonder of wood and bronze gears that charted the movements of the heavens, thought to be the first analog computer. The island of Rhodes was so famous for its automata, as ancient robots were known, that Pindar wrote an ode in their honor:
The animated figures stand
Adorning every public street
And seem to breathe in stone, or
Move their marble feet.
—(trans. Rev. C. A. Wheelwright, 1830), Seventh Olympic Ode (95)
Do we still hold robots in such high esteem? It depends on how the economy is doing.
When economic times are good, machines are celebrated as wonders of progress and prosperity that will improve our lives. But when times are tough, they become objects of fear. The unemployment crisis of the past four years was triggered by a Wall Street-driven financial crash, and exacerbated by policy makers who failed to do enough to stimulate the economy and to ensure that there’s enough demand for goods and services. But lately, a new argument for job insecurity has made a splash in the media: It’s the machines! Pundits predict the “end of labor, ” and talk about armies of sleek robots taking over the workplace as a foregone conclusion. Dystopian fantasies worthy of a late-night sci-fi flick flood the airwaves.
Source: naked capitalism
Applying Neural Networks: A Practical Guide
Book (Morgan Kaufmann)
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