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My First Neural Network

This article was written by Bharat Girdhar.

I was always intrigued by the concept of computers taking a decision on behalf of humans. Though the concept of machine learning has been there for decades but mostly with researchers and practitioners.

The ever evolving IT Industry is changing rapidly (at least that’s what I have been reading from last 6 months) and with Automation (especially robotics) spreading its wings up skilling is a MUST for everyone.

Automation will soon conquer all the segments and that will increase the need for access to highly skilled talent. With this in mind I started my voyage with Machine learning. Searching on Google will give you thousands of links but what I found interesting was ‘Coursera’ and the ‘Machine learning’ course.

My First Neural Network

There is a lot of good information about ML (Machine learning) in the course but one that specially caught my attention was Neural Networks. Course content compared Neural network working with ‘Human Brains’ and this popped a lot of questions in my head:

Is this true? How can a neural network learn and work like our brains? How computers work like our brains? Don’t they work on commands coded by us?

My quest lead me to read about our Brains and Neural Network.

As per my understanding, when we are born our brains are like blank slates and it evolves based on the experience and learning. Imagine when we see the digit 1 first time, do we know its 1 and what does it mean? No, we don’t. Over a period of time we get exposed to these numbers again and again with our teachers / parents helping us understand how to recognize each digit and whenever we made a mistake they corrected us (this part of correcting us every time we made a mistake is very important).

The reason I am able to differentiate between numbers say 1 and 2 is because I have been taught over and over that if there is a straight vertical line without any extension its 1. A straight vertical line means a dark/light color line (as compared to background) going from top to bottom.

To read the rest of the article, with a detailed example, click here.