more from Steven Pinker

Single Idea 7511

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 4. Connectionism]

Full Idea

The appeal of neural networks is that they automatically generalize their training to similar new items. If one has been trained to think tigers eat frosted flakes, it will generalise that lions do too, because it knows tigers as sets of features.


Neural networks are the same as connectionist systems

Gist of Idea

Neural networks can generalise their training, e.g. truths about tigers apply mostly to lions


Steven Pinker (The Blank Slate [2002], Ch.5)

Book Reference

Pinker,Steven: 'The Blank Slate' [Penguin 2003], p.79

A Reaction

This certainly is appealing, because it offers a mechanistic account of abstraction and universals, which everyone agrees are central to proper thinking.