Demystifying Neural Networks: AI for Beginners

Demystifying Neural Networks AI for Beginners
Have you ever thought about how machines can recognize objects in pictures or understand human speech? The answer to this is – neural networks.
Understanding Neural Networks is very important in AI and ML because they are the foundation of many advanced algorithms. With the help of neural networks, machines can learn.

Neural networks are the fundamental concept in AI. In this post, we will demystify neural networks and explain their importance in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

What are Neural Networks?

You can think of Neural Networks as a type of Machine-Learning algorithm that is inspired by the human brain. They are made up of networked nodes, or neurons, that process and interpret data collectively. These neurons are arranged into layers, each of which carries out a particular task.
Neural networks copy the human brain by using the interconnected layers of artificial neurons to process and analyze data. Every neuron takes in information from the layer above, processes it, and then sends the result to the layer below. Up until the last layer, which generates the required output, this process is repeated.

How Neural Networks Work?

Neural networks are made up of 3 main components – the input layer, hidden layers, and the output layer. The original data is received by the input layer, it is processed and analyzed by the hidden layers, and the output layer generates the output.
Activation functions play a big role in Neural Networks. They introduce non-linearity into the model, which then allows it to learn complex patterns and make accurate predictions. Tanh, ReLU, and sigmoid are examples of common activation functions.

What are the Types of Neural Networks?

There are many types of Neural Networks and each one of them is designed for a particular task.
Let’s see the types in detail:

1. Convolutional neural networks

Convolutional neural networks, a very well-liked neural networking model, use one or more convolutional layers along with a kind of multilayer perceptron. These levels may be fully connected or pooled.
The neural networking model uses principles from linear algebra, particularly matrix multiplication, to identify and handle picture patterns. Convolutional layers in this model can generate feature maps that identify specific areas within a given visual input. Subsequently, the website undergoes a thorough analysis and examination to yield meaningful findings.

2. Deconvolutional neural networks

Deconvolutional neural networks work to find missing signals or features that the convolutional neural network may have previously dismissed as irrelevant when it carried out its designated task. Neural networks using deconvolution are useful for many tasks, such as synthesis and image analysis.

3. Recurrent neural networks

In order for this intricate neural network model to function, the output produced by its processor nodes must be saved and then fed back into the algorithm. Recurrent neural networks can improve their prediction power through this method.
Every node in this neural network architecture functions similarly to a memory cell. These cells process the data they receive to ensure intelligent computation and execution. However, this model’s unique feature is its capacity to gather and repurpose all processed data.

4. Modular neural networks

Modular neural networks have distinct neural network series whose operations are managed by an intermediary. Every separate network function as a “module,” utilizing different inputs to accomplish certain tasks related to the overall goal of the bigger network.
When computation is happening, the modules don’t talk to each other or impede each other’s work. This improves the speed and efficiency of completing lengthy and complicated computing tasks.

5. Generative Adversarial Networks

Convolutional neural networks and other deep learning tools are utilized by generative adversarial networks, a generative modeling solution, to automate pattern recognition in data. Using an original dataset, generative modeling leverages unsupervised learning to produce logical conclusions.
To train generative models, generative adversarial networks construct a “supervised learning problem” that consists of a discriminator model and a generator model. The former is ready to use the input to draw fresh conclusions. Simultaneously, the latter aims to classify findings as “real” (derived from the dataset) or “fake” (resulting from the algorithm). The generator model generates credible findings after the discriminator model incorrectly labels the generated conclusions approximately 50% of the time.

How to Train Neural Networks?

Training a neural network entails preparing & preprocessing data, forward propagation to calculate errors, backpropagation to alter weights, and an iterative learning process to improve model performance. This approach requires tagged data as well as computer resources. AI development services specialize in this process to develop high-performing AI models.

Applications of Neural Networks

Neural networks have a lot of different applications across various industries. They are used for image recognition and computer vision tasks, facilitating the analysis of visual data and object identification by machines. Neural networks are used in natural language processing (NLP) for sentiment analysis and language translation. Neural networks are also used in predictive analysis & forecasting, and in autonomous vehicles and robotics. AI development services play an important role in deploying these neural network applications effectively.
Let’s study the applications of Neural Networks in detail:

1. Speech Recognition

Speech has an important role in human-to-human interaction. Thus, it is very normal for people to expect speech interfaces with the system.
In the current era, if humans have to communicate with machines, they still need sophisticated languages which are difficult to learn & use. One easy way to help with this communication barrier would be to speak in a spoken language that the machine can comprehend.
There has been great progress in this field. Nevertheless, these systems continue to face challenges related to restricted vocabulary or grammar and retraining for various speakers under various circumstances.
Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) play a big role in this area. The following ANNs have been used for speech recognition:
  • Multilayer networks

  • Multilayer networks with recurrent connections

  • Kohonen self-organizing feature map

The most useful network for this is Kohonen self-organizing feature map, which receives brief snippets of the speech waveform as input. It uses a process known as the feature extraction technique to map phonemes that are like those in the output array. It will identify the utterance after extracting the features and using various acoustic models for back-end processing.

2. Signature Verification Application

One of the best methods for validating and approving a person in legal transactions is through their signature. A non-vision-based technique is used to verify signatures.
The initial method for this application is to extract the feature, or more accurately, the set of geometric features that represent the signature. We must use an effective neural network approach to train the neural networks utilizing these feature sets. At the verification stage, this trained neural network will identify whether the signature is real or fake.

3. Human Face Recognition

Human face recognition is a type of biometric method to identify a given face. It is a common activity due to the classification of “non-face” photos. However, if a neural network is properly trained, it can be split into two classes: images with faces and images without faces.

Firstly, all the input images must be preprocessed. After that, the dimensionality of that image must be reduced. Lastly, it must be classified by using a neural network training algorithm.
The following neural networks are used for training purposes with preprocessed images:
  • Fully connected multilayer feed-forward neural network trained using the back-propagation algorithm.
  • Principal Component Analysis, or PCA, is used to reduce dimensionality.

4. Facial Recognition

Facial recognition systems are a strong system of surveillance. The work of the recognition systems is to match the human face with the digital images. Facial recognition systems are used a lot in offices to authenticate a human face and match it with the list of IDs that are present in its database.

5. Healthcare

There is a proverb that states, “Health is Wealth.” People in the modern day are making use of technology’s benefits in the healthcare industry. Convolutional Neural Networks are being used in the medical field for ultrasound, CT scanning, and X-ray detection.

6. Weather Forecasting

Prior to the implementation of artificial intelligence, meteorological forecasts were never accurate. Weather forecasting is generally used to anticipate forthcoming weather conditions. Weather forecasts are being utilized to predict the likelihood of natural disasters.

7. Signature Verification & Handwriting Analysis

Signature verification as the name says is a term used for verifying the signature of individuals. Signature verification is a method used by banks and other financial institutions to confirm an individual’s identity.
Typically, the signatures are examined using software designed for signature verification. Given the prevalence of forgeries in financial institutions, signature verification is a crucial process that looks attentively at the veracity of signed papers.

Challenges & Limitations of Neural Networks

Neural networks are strong instruments, but they also have drawbacks and restrictions. The performance of the model might be impacted by typical problems like overfitting and underfitting. A considerable amount of labeled data, which might not always be available, is needed for training a neural network. Both the training period and the computational complexity may be substantial. Neural networks can also be challenging to understand and comprehend, which might be a drawback in some sectors of the economy. AI development services can be crucial to mitigate these challenges by optimizing data usage and improving models.

Final Thoughts

Neural networks are rapidly paving the way in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies whereby computers are programmed to perform data processing procedures like image and speech recognition and analysis for the purpose of prediction. They have the capacity for repeat learning and improvement, due to their models’ resemblance to the functionality of the human brain and are a staple of AI technology.

Vikas Agarwal is the Founder of GrowExx, a Digital Product Development Company specializing in Product Engineering, Data Engineering, Business Intelligence, Web and Mobile Applications. His expertise lies in Technology Innovation, Product Management, Building & nurturing strong and self-managed high-performing Agile teams.

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