Of all the founding fathers, I have always been most drawn to Thomas Jefferson. His supposed synthesis of the intellectual and the political appeals to me, yet until recently I had not read a single biography of him. Having just finished Benjamin Franklin’s excellent autobiography, I thought it was time to read up on his successor.
Earlier this week TechCrunch broke the news that Google had acquired Geoff Hinton’s recently founded deep learning startup. Soon thereafter Geoff posted on his Google+ page an announcement confirming the news and his (part-time) departure to Google from the University of Toronto. From the details that have emerged so far, it appears that he will split his time between UoT and the Google offices in Toronto and Mountain View. What does Geoff’s move, and other recent higher profiles departures, say about the future of machine learning research in academia? A lot, I think.
Last week I came across this beautifully illustrated article by Auren Hoffman and the subsequent Hacker News commentary. Auren makes the argument that the future belongs to the creative mind, the one whose possessors are able to integrate, synthesize, and create new types of ideas and art, as opposed to the analytical one, which dominates modern industry and which has been the driving force behind the technological and scientific developments of the past two centuries.
This post is ¬ meant with all seriousness. Every comparison should ¬ be taken literally, and no traces of humor should be seen when none, in fact, exist. (¬)