Neural networks for dummies: a quick intro to this fascinating field

You will also learn some buzzwords to impress the family at the dinner table, especially if you follow the reading list at the end.What is Machine Learning?To understand Neural Networks, we first need to understand Machine Learning..A function, in the context of mathematics and computer science, is a fancy name for something that takes some input, applies some logic, and outputs the result.More to the point, a neuron can be thought of as one learning unit.Therefore, we need to understand what is a learning unit, in the context of Machine Learning..Then we will also understand the most basic building block of a Neural Network, which is the neuron.To illustrate, let’s say I am trying to understand the relationship between the number of words in a blog post, and the number of words people actually read from that blog post..Remember – we are in the Machine Learning domain, where we learn from examples.So I collect many examples of word count in blog posts, denoted by x, and how many words people actually read in those posts, y, and I imagine there is some relationship between them, denoted by f.However, the trick is, that I just need to tell the machine (the program) sort of what is the relationship I expect to see (for example a straight line), and the machine will understand the actual line it needs to draw.What did I gain here?Next time I want to write a blog post that has x words in it, the machine can apply the relationship f it found, and tell me how many words I can expect people to actually read, y.So, a Neural Network is…Well, if a neuron is a function, then a Neural Network is a network of functions!. More details

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