Machine learning leads mathematicians to unsolvable problem


Austrian mathematician Kurt Gödel is known for his'incompleteness' theorems.Credit: Alfred Eisenstaedt/ LIFE Picture Coll./Getty A team of researchers has stumbled on a question that is mathematically unanswerable because it is linked to logical paradoxes discovered by Austrian mathematician Kurt Gödel in the 1930s that can't be solved using standard mathematics. The mathematicians, who were working on a machine-learning problem, show that the question of'learnability' -- whether an algorithm can extract a pattern from limited data -- is linked to a paradox known as the continuum hypothesis. Gödel showed that the statement cannot be proved either true or false using standard mathematical language. The latest result appeared on 7 January in Nature Machine Intelligence1.