The Role of Structure in AI

As artificial intelligence algorithms get applied to more and more domains, a question that often arises is whether to somehow build structure into the algorithm itself to mimic the structure of the problem. There’s usually some amount of knowledge we already have of each domain, an understanding of how it usually works, but it’s not clear how (or even if) to lend this knowledge to an AI algorithm to help it get started. Sure, it may get the algorithm caught up to where we already were on solving that problem, but will it eventually become a limitation where the structure and assumptions prevent the algorithm from surpassing human performance?

It’s a problem without a universal answer. This week, we’ll talk about the question in general, and especially recommend a recent discussion between Christopher Manning and Yann LeCun, two AI researchers who hold different opinions on whether structure is a necessary good or a necessary evil.

Relevant links: