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[deep learning] algorithms make decisions by training itself to recognize deeply buried patterns and correlations connecting scattered data

[deep learning] algorithms make decisions by training itself to recognize deeply buried patterns and correlations connecting scattered data [deep learning] algorithms make decisions by training itself to recognize deeply buried patterns and correlations connecting scattered data
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So how does deep learning do this? Fundamentally, these algorithms use massive amounts of data from a specific domain to make a decision that optimizes for a desired outcome. It does this by training itself to recognize deeply buried patterns and correlations connecting the many data points to the desired outcome. This pattern-finding process is easier when the data is labeled with that desired outcome—“cat” versus “no cat”; “clicked” versus “didn’t click”; “won game” versus “lost game.” It can then draw on its extensive knowledge of these correlations—many of which are invisible or irrelevant to human observers—to make better decisions than a human could. Doing this requires massive amounts of relevant data, a strong algorithm, a narrow domain, and a concrete goal. If you’re short any one of these, things fall apart. Too little data? The algorithm doesn’t have enough examples to uncover meaningful correlations. Too broad a goal? The algorithm lacks clear benchmarks to shoot for in optimization. Deep learning is what’s known as “narrow AI”—intelligence that takes data from one specific domain and applies it to optimizing one specific outcome. While impressive, it is still a far cry from “general AI,” the all-purpose technology that can do everything a human can. Deep learning’s most natural application is in fields like insurance and making loans. Relevant data on borrowers is abundant (credit score, income, recent credit-card usage), and the goal to optimize for is clear (minimize default rates). Taken one step further, deep learning will power self-driving cars by helping them to “see” the world around them—recognize patterns in the camera’s pixels (red octagons), figure out what they correlate to (stop signs), and use that information to make decisions (apply pressure to the brake to slowly stop) that optimize for your desired outcome (deliver me safely home in minimal time). People are so excited about deep learning precisely because its core power—its ability to recognize a pattern, optimize for a specific outcome, make a decision—can be applied to so many different kinds of everyday problems.

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