Machine Learning Ballyhoo

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Machine Learning Ballyhoo:

Are you getting a bit tired with all the machine learning ballyhoo?

You can blame it all on a German mathematician(*), Carl Friedrich Gauss, who started the futuristic mega-trend back in 1809: He showed us how to train a straight line to pass nicely through a cloud of unruly, scattered data points. To find, in effect, a path of least embarrassment.

Two+ centuries later it is still a profitable enterprise to invent elaborate variations of that theme, now going under the more exalted name of supervised learning, which may or may not include deep learning. Instead of a linear function we use more complex (non-linear) siblings but conceptually the difference is only a minor technicality.

What would Gauss think of the current hype cycle? Would he be the founder of the mysterious and world-conquering #AI startup gauss.ai? Or would he, as he did in his own time, lament das Geschrei der Böotier (the outcry of the Boeotians) and focus on delivering something of lasting value?

(*) Keeping with EU power balance you can alternatively blame it on a French mathematician: Adrien-Marie Legendre - who in any case did publish first