Understanding the Connection: Deep Learning and Artificial Neural Networks

August 04, 2023
5 min read
By Gianluca Turcatel
Machine Learning
Understanding the Connection Deep Learning and Artificial Neural Networks

The underlying core of artificial intelligence, deep learning (DL) through artificial neural networks, imitates the human brain's decision-making pattern, presenting a model of computation known as the Artificial Neural Network (ANN), which opens up transformative possibilities in how we interact with machines and technology. Fundamentally, deep learning deploys immense neural networks that learn from colossal amounts of data. Each neuron in the network processes a small amount of information, imitating the neurons in our brain. A simple example of this can be seen in image recognition software: The learning algorithm breaks down the image into smaller features, much like our own neural processings when perceiving an image, only here, the artificial neural network recognizes patterns, distinguishes characteristics, finally classifying it based on layers of data filter. As a result, over time the algorithm becomes adept at identifying not just images, but every digit, word, sound, and more. Thus, the intersection of deep learning and artificial neural networks has brought about unprecedented advancements in AI, echoing our cognitive abilities into technologic realms.

Basics of Artificial Neural Networks

basics of artificial neural networks

Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) are at the crux of deep learning, often resembling a biological brain's intricate complexities. They imitate human intelligence by recreating our thinking pattern using layers of artificial neurons or nodes. Simplistically, each node performs a small, specific piece of the overarching problem-solving process. These nodes are organized into layers, with the input layer to receive data, hidden layers composed of multiple nodes to process this information, and finally, an output layer which presents the solution. A clear-cut example of deep learning and artificial neural network is Google's search algorithm. It employs a deep artificial neural network to learn from volumes of past search data. Here, the input layer could be the search terms; the hidden layers process this information concerning historical data, user location, etc.; The output layer presents the user with the most relevant results. This network's 'deep' learning lies in its capability to continually train and refine itself – every new data it encounters helps it draw more accurate future predictions. Utilizing ANNs, deep learning revolutionizes various fields from healthcare diagnostics to self-driving cars, continually proving its transformational potential.

Machine Learning and Deep Learning: Differences

machine learning and deep learning differences

Machine learning (ML) encompasses a wide range of algorithms and techniques that enable machines to learn from data and improve their performance on a specific task. It includes both traditional statistical methods and modern algorithms like Decision Trees, Random Forests, Support Vector Machines (SVM), K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN), and more. ML focuses on extracting patterns and features from data and using them to make predictions or decisions. DL is a specific subset of ML that focuses on training deep neural networks with multiple layers (deep architectures) to automatically learn hierarchical representations of data. It utilizes architectures like Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) for computer vision, Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) for sequential data, and Transformers for natural language processing. DL is especially powerful for tasks involving unstructured data, such as images, audio, and text.

ML models are more widely used across various domains and problem types due to their versatility and ability to handle different types of structured data. Meanwhile, DL has shown exceptional performance in specific domains like computer vision, natural language processing, and speech recognition. While it excels in those areas, it might not be the best choice for all types of problems

Understanding How Neural Networks Work

understanding how neural networks work

Imagine a series of connected "neurons," like in our brain, but in a computer program. Each neuron receives some information, processes it, and passes it to the next neuron. These connections have "weights" that control how much importance each piece of information should have. When the program learns something new, examples are given to it the answers are checked for accuracy. It adjusts the weights based on the feedback it receives so that it becomes better at making correct decisions over time. Once the program has learned from many examples, it will be able to make predictions or decisions on its own. In a nutshell, artificial neural networks learn from examples and adjust their connections to get better at understanding and processing information, just like human brain learns from experience to make better decisions.

Real-world Uses of Deep Learning Networks

real world uses of deep learning networks

Deep learning and artificial neural networks have revolutionized several industries with their ability to analyze, understand, and derive insights from vast amounts of data. One notable example is the healthcare sector, where these networks are used to predict disease trajectories and develop personalized treatment plans based on patients' unique genetic profiles. They scrutinize data, such as scans and tests for anomalies, significantly improving diagnosis accuracy. Another area they are utilized is in self-driving cars, where they enable vehicle systems to make split-second decisions based on real-time data, ensuring safer navigation. In the e-commerce sector, these technologies are used to provide personalized shopping experiences by predicting customer preferences based on past behavior and societal trends. Moreover, financial institutions employ deep learning for fraud detection, which involves identifying unusual patterns across massive datasets. In the field of climate science, it aids in the prediction of climate change patterns by processing and interpreting enormous volumes of weather data. Thus, deep learning and artificial neural networks have immense practical applications in diverse fields, where they have significantly improved efficiency, accuracy, and customization.



Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) are the foundation and building blocks of machine learning, including traditional neural network models. Deep Learning is a specialized subset of machine learning that focuses on training deep neural networks with multiple layers to automatically learn hierarchical representations from data. They have shown exceptional performance in specific domains like computer vision, natural language processing, and speech recognition, while traditional ANNs are used in various machine learning applications. Deep Learning's success lies in its ability to automatically learn complex representations from raw data, making it well-suited for cutting-edge AI tasks requiring advanced pattern recognition.

Published on August 04, 2023 by Gianluca Turcatel

Gianluca Turcatel

COO & Co-Founder