If deep learning is the answer, then what is the question? [article]

Andrew Saxe, Stephanie Nelli, Christopher Summerfield
2020 arXiv   pre-print
Neuroscience research is undergoing a minor revolution. Recent advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) research have opened up new ways of thinking about neural computation. Many researchers are excited by the possibility that deep neural networks may offer theories of perception, cognition and action for biological brains. This perspective has the potential to radically reshape our approach to understanding neural systems, because the computations performed by deep
more » ... s are learned from experience, not endowed by the researcher. If so, how can neuroscientists use deep networks to model and understand biological brains? What is the outlook for neuroscientists who seek to characterise computations or neural codes, or who wish to understand perception, attention, memory, and executive functions? In this Perspective, our goal is to offer a roadmap for systems neuroscience research in the age of deep learning. We discuss the conceptual and methodological challenges of comparing behaviour, learning dynamics, and neural representation in artificial and biological systems. We highlight new research questions that have emerged for neuroscience as a direct consequence of recent advances in machine learning.
arXiv:2004.07580v2 fatcat:2ltmlfs4xbdhvhh7qcga7rcbq4