Taken by surprise
It’s hardly possible to find a single person that hasn’t heard about Deep Learning virus epidemics. The size of affected population is quite significant and the infection is spreading faster than was ever imagined. Who would have thought that such an esoteric virus could spread so rapidly. The main question is how the authorities missed this case completely until the point when it is very little that can be done to fight this strong and capable, not to say a kind of intelligent adversary.
What went wrong?
The virus origin dates back to nineteen sixties and seventies when there was reported that a couple of scientists were affected by Deep Learning virus which then had no such a name and was known as Perceptron. However, it was thought that timely treatment of a newly discovered XOR antibiotic cured it completely though sporadic eruptions of it were reported also in mid eighties.
The things started to change suddenly in 2012. Although, a few years before this there were a number of cases when people from speech recognition community were affected by Deep Learning virus. What happened in 2012 though was more significant since for the first time it was reported that vision, and more precisely, object classification functionality, was strongly affected by it.
Today, we are witnessing a new wave of this infection and it’s unsettling to see that this virus has grown to become such a beast. We all know now that almost all human senses is affected by it be it vision, speech generation and recognition, hearing, cognitive functions such a primitive sentiment, you name it. It is unclear if sense of taste and smell are in danger but we cannot be overoptimistic in this regard.
At first, it was thought that somehow the virus only targets certain predisposed members of the population such as scientists and engineers like Geoffrey Hinton, Yann LeCun, Yoshua Bengio and others. It turned out that we were completely wrong in this assumption and the virus is much smarter and flexible than we thought possible. Now large fractions of population be it doctors, artists, entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, and even renowned physicist such as Max Tegmark are deeply affected by this Deep Learning epidemics.
It is mutating
Throughout the years, researchers were able to uncover a number of mutations of Deep learning virus and we now know about Auto Encoders, Convolutional and Recurrent spices of it. Each day the most authoritative remedy journal Arxiv reports on newer cases of mutations that gives us little hope that the treatment will keep pace with the virus evolution. There are rumors that a new and unseen kind of mutation such as Deep Reinforcement Learning are even more dangerous not to mention generative adversarial networks and who knows what else to come.
On a side note, it is at least, a little bit reassuring to know that one of the mutations called Theano was eradicated by MILA and we hope that other will follow too.
Apparently, the virus is transmuted via digital means of Internet publications, open-source, such as MXNet and usage of large corporations products such as Keras, TenserFlow, PyTorch. It is most probable that participation in conferences, such as NIPS and others can put you in immediate danger of being affected. So ask yourself before attending them if the risk worth it.
A new hope
Even though the virus is strong and unrelenting, we place our hopes in development of new antibiotics, such as Numenat’s HTM or neuromorphic drugs, such as Neurogrid.
So be cautious and take all measures to fight the virus and hope that human intelligence will beat this sneaky, powerful, smart and flexibly entity that somehow learns to outsmart us each time we think we’ve found a cure.