[Rasch] Fan

Paul Barrett pbarrett at hoganassessments.com
Wed Oct 31 16:59:59 EST 2007


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephen Humphry [mailto:stephen.humphry at uwa.edu.au] 
> Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 4:54 PM
> To: commons at tiac.net; Paul Barrett; rasch at acer.edu.au
> Subject: RE: [Rasch] Fan

> I'm interested to know what "wow" factor (as Paul put it) 
> arises from neural networks. They've created a lot of 
> interest, but it is hype as far as I'm concerned. I would 
> level precisely the same criticism at this field -- nothing 
> has been achieved as a result of work on neural networks that 
> would not have been otherwise achieved with the emergence of 
> information technologies.

Well Stephen, what I thought was obvious from the sheer number of
application domains and practical applications (such as Palm and Pocket
PC Handwriting/character recognition systems which use hybrid algorithms
and networks) - let alone the kick-starting of the field of
computational neuroscience, is actually "hype".

Next time you apply for a credit card, wonder about the technology being
used to assess your credit rating and bankruptcy liability. Oh yes, when
you climb into a lift in a multiple-lift high-rise - consider the AI in
the lift positioning system in the building .. And what about autonomous
underwater vehicle guidance systems - and medical scanning recognition
support systems etc., and don't forget the missile guidance systems
which apparently use hybrid networks.  

Has it never occurred to you what the development of the concept of the
neural net - and connectionism - actually kickstarted? Neural nets are
"old hat" now - and have been incorporated into the greater field of
"soft computing" and the development of many new "autonomous agent" and
decision-support systems.

The "wow" factor was that you could create prediction solutions which
greatly exceeded the best that linear methods could accomplish, from the
interconnectivity of single processing units using a set of finite
rules. It was also "wow" because it seemed to allow investigators to
model brain function like never before - even though the artificiality
was always present. 

Hype or no hype - that "breakthrough" generated real research and
applications "heat" - and practical and commercial developments in
multiple kinds of systems and knowledge-domains. 

But, we have now moved very far from the reason for my original post,
and Moritz has generated a far more challenging post to Rasch advocates
than mine!

Regards .. Paul
Paul Barrett                    918.749-0632 x 326
Chief Research Scientist            Skype: pbar088
Hogan Assessment Systems Inc.
2622 East 21st St., Tulsa, OK 74114          
Email: pbarrett at hoganassessments.com 
Web:   www.hoganassessments.com 


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