Hope Returns to the Machine Learning Universe

If you’re not living under a rock, then you’ve surely encountered the Heroes of Deep Learning, an inspiring, heterogeneous band of Deep Learning all-stars whose sheer grit, determination, and—[dare we say?]—genius, catalyzed the earth-shaking revolution that has brought to market such technological marvels as DeepFakes, GPT-7, and Gary Marcus.

But these are no ordinary times. And as the world contends with a rampaging virus, incendiary wildfires, and smouldering social unrest, no ordinary heroes will suffice. However, you needn’t fear. Hope has returned to the Machine Learning Universe, and boy, oh boy the timing couldn’t be better.

As confirmed to us by several independent witnesses, the sun, moon, and stars have been joined in the night’s sky by new, supernatural, sights. After a months-long meticulous investigation, including consultations with NASA, MI6, and Singularity University, we can confirm the presence, on Earth, of the Superheroes of Deep Learning!

Superheroes of Deep Learning

Who are these superheroes, you ask? What makes them so super? Let’s get one thing clear. These ain’t your run-of-the-mill GPU jockeys. The Superheroes of Deep Learning physically manifest the marvels of AI through psychokinetic powers. Can any obstacle stand in their way?

MOOC — Educator by day, vigilante by night.
MOOC — Educator by day, vigilante by night.

With legions of students and quad-rotors at the ready, MOOC never goes into battle alone! Legend has it that in his last appearance on Earth, MOOC narrowly escaped an ambush by The Syndicate of Stanford Statisticians. With the dreaded Lasso constricting, MOOC was abruptly snatched from the jaws of defeat and carried to safety by a swarm of drones. Then, following his expert demonstrations, the drones acquired paranormal fighting skills via imitation learning. The Statistics Department has never recovered from the smashing defeat that followed!

Benchmark — Super learning requires super data. Need we say more?
Benchmark — Super learning requires super data. Need we say more?

A million data points isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion data points. The superheroes of deep learning might seem powerful, but their powers only come to life when fueled by (st)reams of data. At one with the internet, Benchmark conjures epic datasets from thin air. Her powers can tip the scale in any battle.

Q-Silver — Moves so fast, sometimes he has to back up a step.
Q-Silver — Moves so fast, sometimes he has to back up a step.

You thought TPUs were fast? Better upgrade your drivers if you want to keep up with Q-silver! Warping the space-time continuum, he has acquired over 20 million lifetimes of experience. With such speed, he can even learn tabula rasa.

Captain Convolution — Kind of a big deal.
Captain Convolution — Kind of a big deal.

What cannot be solved by the power of convolution? If Captain Convolution continues at this pace, the answer may prove to be… “nothing!”. When he’s not taking supervillains to the mat or sliding his feature detectors across surveillance footage in search of ne’er-do-wells, The Captain enjoys rap battling vs. Ali Rahimi, convolving on the floor laughing, and feeling the learn.

The Tensorial Professor — Taking villains apart, fiber by fiber.
The Tensorial Professor Taking villains apart, fiber by fiber.

Step out of the way, you low-dimensional nincompoops. If 0 dimensions can represent only a point, and 4 dimensions all of space time, just imagine what magic lives in higher-order realms. The Tensorial Professor travels these esoteric spaces with the ease of a native, and her famed tensor decompositions will cut any villain down to size.

Other Paranormal Sightings

While the DL Superheroes have captured the lion’s share of public attention, they are far from the only supernatural beings to show up on the scene. We can confirm that at least three additional super-humans have been identified.

Kernel Schölkopf — If he pulls out his dreaded Kernel Machine, duck!
Kernel Schölkopf — If he pulls out his dreaded Kernel Machine, duck!

Don’t take your eye off of The Kernel for a split second or you might find yourself ripped off the ground and exploded into infinite-dimensional space. Some say the pain is even greater than tensor decomposition. With his powerful kernel machine in hand, can anyone stand in the way of Kernel Schölkopf? Let’s hope he’s on our side.

Code Poet — Fighting the coded gaze.
Code Poet — Fighting the coded gaze.

While the DL superheroes’ arrival has been met by hordes of breathless fans and endless fawning on /r/machinelearning, not everyone is convinced that they’re on the side of justice. Wielding an arsenal of diagnostic probes and rocking a black belt in verbal jiu jitsu, Code Poet has convened the Algorithmic Justice League to hold the DL Superheroes to account.

DAGman — He ascended the Ladder of Causation and returned a changed man.
DAGman — He ascended the Ladder of Causation and returned a changed man.

Perhaps the DL Superheroes’ most vocal detractor, DAGman himself possesses extraordinary abilities. Rumor has it, he scaled The Ladder of Causation, acquiring the ability to intervene on arbitrary facts in the world! But how can we verify these deeds if we can only ever observe just one … potential outcome?

By Falaah Arif Khan & Zachary C. Lipton

Author: Falaah Arif Khan

An Engineer/Scientist by training and an Artist by nature, Falaah is a Research Fellow at the CVIT Lab at IIIT-Hyderabad and an Artist-in-Residence at the Montreal AI Ethics Institute.

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