Towards an Integrated Understanding of Neural Networks

29 May 2018
David Rolnick

Neural networks underpin both biological intelligence and modern AI systems, yet there is relatively little theory for how the observed behavior of these networks arises. Even the connectivity of neurons within the brain remains largely unknown, and popular deep learning algorithms lack theoretical justification or reliability guarantees.  In this talk, we consider paths towards a more rigorous understanding of neural networks. We characterize and, where possible, prove essential properties of neural algorithms: expressivity, learning, and robustness. We show how observed emergent behavior can arise from network dynamics, and we develop algorithms for learning more about the network structure of the brain.