By Gary F. Marcus
An try and combine theories approximately how the brain works, one who says that the brain is a computer-like manipulator of symbols, and one other that says that the brain is a huge community of neurons operating jointly in parallel.
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Extra resources for Algebraic Mind: Integrating Connectionism and Cognitive Science
What is important for present purposes is not whether a node is analog or binary but rather whether a given variable is represented by a single node or many. 1 Models That Allocate One Node to Each Variable With this distinction—between representational schemes that allocate one node per variable and representational schemes that allocate more than one node per variable—firmly in mind (and clearly distinguished from the separate question of localist versus distributed encoding), we are now ready to consider the relation between multilayer perceptrons and systems that represent and generalize operations over variables.
For example, if we want variable x to represent varying amounts of pocket change, we could use one bucket to represent the number of quarters, another to represent the number of dimes, another to represent the number of nickels, and another to represent the number of pennies. The total amount of currency thus is represented by the four-bucket ensemble. Just as we can define simple universally quantified one-to-one operations such as copy in the single-bucket case, we can define simple universally quantified one-to-one operations in the multiple bucket case.
They in no way guarantee that multilayer perceptrons can generalize from limited data in the way that humans do. ) In any case, all this talk of universal function approximators may be moot. 9 Talk about universal function approximation is thus a red herring that does not actually distinguish between multilayer perceptrons and symbol-manipulation. Similarly, at least for now, considerations of biological plausibility cannot choose between connectionist models that implement symbolmanipulation and connectionist models that eliminate symbolmanipulation.
Algebraic Mind: Integrating Connectionism and Cognitive Science by Gary F. Marcus