Getting Started with Deep Learning- A Gentle Introduction | by Salman Ahsan | Oct, 2023

Imagine you’re teaching a robot to distinguish between cats and dogs in photos. How would you do it? You’d show the robot thousands of cat and dog pictures, telling it what each image contains. The robot would then try to figure out the differences and similarities between the two animals, gradually getting better at recognizing them.

This concept, known as “deep learning,” is like teaching a computer to learn from data, just as we teach a child by showing them examples. It’s a hot topic in the world of technology and is responsible for some of the most astonishing advancements, like self-driving cars and virtual assistants.

But don’t worry; you don’t need a Ph.D. in computer science to grasp the basics of deep learning. In this article, we’ll unravel the mysteries of deep learning and neural networks, making it as easy to understand as your favorite bedtime story.

Machine Learning Vs Deep Learning

Now, imagine that the data we’re dealing with is more complex than just numbers. It could be a combination of images, text, and other types of information. This is where tensors come into play. Tensors are like versatile containers that can hold this diverse data.

Deep learning frameworks, like TensorFlow and PyTorch, are the “magic wands” that help us work with these tensors and build our neural networks. They provide the tools and recipes for creating, training, and deploying these networks.

Tensors Simplified

At the core of deep learning lies something truly fascinating — neural networks. Think of these networks as the brains behind the magic, and they’re inspired by how our own brains work. They are like a series of interconnected dots, much like the neurons in our brains, that process information.

Neural networks is a special kind of computer program that’s inspired by the human brain. Picture it as a stack of pancakes, where each pancake is a layer of interconnected dots.

1. Input Layer: The first pancake receives the data, like the pixels in an image. Imagine it as the “eyes” of our robot.

2. Hidden Layers: The middle pancakes are like the “brain” of our robot. They process the data and help the robot make sense of it.

3. Output Layer: The last pancake gives us the final answer, like whether it’s a cat or a dog. This is where the magic happens.

In between these layers, there are connections with “weights” that determine how strong they are, just like different ingredients in your pancake recipe.

A simple Neural Network

Teaching our robot is like teaching a dog some tricks. We show it lots of pictures of cats and dogs, and it tries to guess what’s in each picture. But here’s the catch: we don’t just tell it if it’s right or wrong; we give it clues.

– If the robot says it’s a cat when it’s actually a cat, we pat it on the back.

– If it says it’s a cat when it’s a dog, we gently correct it.

– It keeps practicing and adjusting until it gets really good at telling cats from dogs.

Now, in our robot’s “brain,” there’s a special ingredient called an “activation function.” It adds a bit of spice to our pancakes, making them more interesting. This spice helps our robot learn tricky stuff and understand complicated patterns in the pictures.

To make sure our robot gets better at guessing, we use something called a “loss function.” It’s like checking the recipe to see how well we cooked our pancakes. If they’re not perfect, we tweak the ingredients and try again until they taste just right.

Here’s where the magic really kicks in. Our robot uses a clever trick called “backpropagation.” It’s like learning from mistakes. If it guessed a picture wrong, it goes back and changes its recipe a bit, so it gets it right next time. This keeps happening until it’s an expert at telling cats and dogs apart.

Now you might wonder why we call it “deep” learning. It’s because we can have lots of these pancake layers (the middle ones) in our robot’s “brain.” The more hidden layers we have, the smarter our robot can become. But sometimes, we only need a few layers if the job is simple, like recognizing shapes.

Predictions: Unveiling the Magic of Neural Networks

Predictions are the breathtaking outcome of the complex neural networks at the heart of deep learning. These networks mimic the workings of the human brain, transforming raw data into actionable insights. So, when you witness a deep learning model distinguishing a cat from a dog in an image or generating human-like text, remember that the magic is unfolding through the layers of interconnected dots, like a stack of pancakes, serving you predictions with a touch of computational enchantment.

So, what can we do with our smart robot? Well, we can do amazing things:

1. Recognizing Images: Think of Instagram filters that recognize your face or Google Photos that find pictures of your pet.

2. Talking to Computers: You’ve probably talked to Siri or Alexa. They understand your voice thanks to deep learning.

3. Self-Driving Cars: Deep learning helps cars see the road and avoid accidents.

4. Healthcare: Doctors use deep learning to read X-rays and MRIs faster and more accurately.

5. Predicting the Future: In finance, deep learning can predict stock prices or detect fraudulent transactions.

Deep learning isn’t just for computer scientists and math whizzes; it’s a thrilling adventure into the world of artificial intelligence. It’s like teaching a robot to see, think, and learn, just as we do. And with each day, this magic is creating a future full of possibilities.


Salman Ahsan

Fazeel Ahmad Khan

Muhammad Zaeem Shahzad

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