# Friday, September 23, 2016

The Extraordinary Link Between Deep Neural Networks and the Nature of the Universe: I find this post extremely thought provocing.

But there is a problem. There is no mathematical reason why networks arranged in layers should be so good at these challenges. Mathematicians are flummoxed. Despite the huge success of deep neural networks, nobody is quite sure how they achieve their success.

Today that changes thanks to the work of Henry Lin at Harvard University and Max Tegmark at MIT. These guys say the reason why mathematicians have been so embarrassed is that the answer depends on the nature of the universe. In other words, the answer lies in the regime of physics rather than mathematics.

[…] The answer is that the universe is governed by a tiny subset of all possible functions. In other words, when the laws of physics are written down mathematically, they can all be described by functions that have a remarkable set of simple properties.

So. It’s simple: the universe is not as complex as we think it might be.

Which begs the question: If our thoughts, and our imagination, are also part of this universe, are they also simpler than we think? What if someone proved for example that at any given point in time, there are only a finite number of thoughts you can make, you are not free to imagine anything or think of anything.

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—Panayotis Vryonis (@vrypan) Fri Sep 23 13:33:17 +0000 2016

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—WIRED (@WIRED) Fri Sep 23 01:27:28 +0000 2016