Facebook and Google: Deep Learning with New Scuba Divers

July 20, 2015

The Facebook-Google type of company wants to explore the frontiers of knowledge as perceived by the science club types. Smart software may be a digital Mariana Trench which has to be turned into a tourist destination.

To achieve this, Google has 50,000 plus really smart people. Facebook has lots of people including Google alums. When the company buys and outfit for its talent or hires a pride of professionals, the firm is (perhaps unconsciously) signaling that the existing team needs upgrading. Think of a professional football team. Each year, the owners, coaches, and advisers identify new talent. Big money is paid. The young calves are placed in the herd. The older animals get to sit on the bench, maybe move into coaching, or, sad to say, become used automobile sales professionals in Dallas, Texas. Facebook, perhaps because of its Xoogler ratio, is following the same path.

I read “Welcome to the AI Conspiracy: The ‘Canadian Mafia’ Behind Tech’s Latest Craze.” Interesting. I learned:

The pace of the AI field, however, is clear. As deep learning has grown in popularity, scores of companies are racing to scoop up scarce talent while computer scientists are finally starting to flood into the field.


Money is at play. An engineer proficient in deep learning can earn upward of $250,000 a year at places like Google and Facebook, according to several sources; exceptional or more experienced ones can net seven-figure salaries.

No doubt that smart software is important to big outfits. I view the recruitment of superstars in a different way:

Perhaps the smart software vehicle is more like a Honda Civic than a McLaren?

Post sale values for ageing scuba divers may plummet like a lead filled diving belt. Today’s divers are under considerable pressure to perform, particularly when cost controls surface as a concern. When MBA think blends with the science club, what looks like progress may be a signal that the problem is harder than imagined. Where do deep sea divers go to recuperate? Home again?

Stephen E Arnold, July 20, 2015



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