Is the Hype around Deep Learning Justified? A Geophysical Perspective
Deep learning is fast emerging as a potential disruptive tool to tackle longstanding research problems across the sciences. This is mainly driven by its ability to find complex patterns in large datasets without the need for feature extraction or engineering. It comes as no surprise that geophysicists, like domain experts from other scientific disciplines, are starting to find value in deep learning methods. Numerous articles demonstrating the efficacy of deep learning to longstanding geophysical problems have appeared in the recent past. These include problems such as earthquake detection, ground-motion prediction, seismic tomography, and earthquake early warning among many others. However, there is a growing concern among some practitioners on the overuse of deep learning in the sciences. Since these deep learning algorithms are so complicated, it is often impossible to reason about exactly how the inputs have been manipulated. As these algorithms begin to be applied widely, the risk of misinterpretations and erroneous conclusions may spiral. In this talk, we will explore deep learning solutions to a multitude of geophysical problems including detection and location of passive seismic events and solving non-linear partial differential equations, such as the eikonal equation and the Helmholtz equation. Through these examples, we will analyze the opportunities and pitfalls associated with deep learning applied to geophysical exploration.
Dr. Umair bin Waheed
Umair bin Waheed was born in Karachi, Pakistan where he received his early education. After completing an undergraduate degree in electronic engineering, he received the prestigious Erasmus Mundus scholarship to pursue double degree Masters at Politecnico di Torino, Italy and Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. Inspired by the vision of KAUST to create a modern house of wisdom, Umair then joined the university to pursue Ph.D. under the able supervision of Tariq Alkhalifah. After completing Ph.D. in 2015, he joined the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University as a postdoc. Since finishing his postdoc in 2017, Umair has been at the College of Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences, KFUPM as Assistant Professor.