Jump to

What is Deep Learning?

Deep learning is a type of machine learning that uses artificial neural networks to learn from data. Artificial neural networks are inspired by the human brain, and they can be used to solve a wide variety of problems, including image recognition, natural language processing, and speech recognition.

Deep learning algorithms

Deep learning algorithms are typically trained on large datasets of labeled data. The algorithms learn to associate features in the data with the correct labels. For example, in an image recognition task, the algorithm might learn to associate certain features in an image (such as the shape of an object or the color of an object) with the correct label (such as "dog" or "cat").

Once a deep learning algorithm has been trained, it can be used to make predictions on new data. For example, a deep learning algorithm that has been trained to recognize images of dogs can be used to identify dogs in new images.

How does deep learning work?

Deep learning works by using artificial neural networks to learn from data. Neural networks are made up of layers of interconnected nodes, and each node is responsible for learning a specific feature of the data.  Building on our previous example with images – in an image recognition network, the first layer of nodes might learn to identify edges, the second layer might learn to identify shapes, and the third layer might learn to identify objects.

As the network learns, the weights on the connections between the nodes are adjusted so that the network can better classify the data. This process is called training, and it can be done using a variety of techniques, such as supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and reinforcement learning.

Once a neural network has been trained, it can be used to make predictions with new data it’s received.

Deep learning vs. machine learning

Both deep learning and machine learning are branches of artificial intelligence, but machine learning is a broader term that encompasses a variety of techniques, including deep learning. ML algorithms are typically trained on large datasets of labeled data, while DL algorithms are trained on massive datasets of unlabeled data.

Machine learning is typically a good fit for tasks such as image recognition, speech recognition, and natural language processing, whereas deep learning algorithms are well-suited for tasks that require a high degree of pattern recognition, such as image classification and object detection.

Deep learning applications

Deep learning can be used in a wide variety of applications, including:

  • Image recognition: To identify objects and features  in images, such as people, animals, places, etc.
  • Natural language processing: To help understand the meaning of text, such as in customer service chatbots and spam filters.
  • Finance: To help analyze financial data and make predictions about market trends
  • Text to image: Convert text into images, such as in the Google Translate app.

Types of deep learning

There are many different types of deep learning models. Some of the most common types include:

Convolutional neural networks (CNNs)

CNNs are used for image recognition and processing. They are particularly good at identifying objects in images, even when those objects are partially obscured or distorted.

Deep reinforcement learning

Deep reinforcement learning is used for robotics and game playing. It is a type of machine learning that allows an agent to learn how to behave in an environment by interacting with it and receiving rewards or punishments.

Recurrent neural networks (RNNs)

RNNs are used for natural language processing and speech recognition. They are particularly good at understanding the context of a sentence or phrase, and they can be used to generate text or translate languages.

What are the benefits of using deep learning models?

There are a number of benefits to using deep learning models, including:

  • Can learn complex relationships between features in data: This makes them more powerful than traditional machine learning methods.
  • Large dataset training: This makes them very scalable, and able to learn from a wider range of experiences, making more accurate predictions.
  • Data-driven learning: DL models can learn in a data-driven way, requiring less human intervention to train them, increasing efficiency and scalability. These models learn from data that is constantly being generated, such as data from sensors or social media.

Challenges of using deep learning models

Deep learning also has a number of challenges, including:

  • Data requirements: Deep learning models require large amounts of data to learn from, making it difficult to apply deep learning to problems where there is not a lot of data available.
  • Overfitting: DL models may be prone to overfitting. This means that they can learn the noise in the data rather than the underlying relationships.
  • Bias: These models can potentially be biased, depending on the data that it’s based on. This can lead to unfair or inaccurate predictions. It is important to take steps to mitigate bias in deep learning models.

Solve your business challenges with Google Cloud

New customers get $300 in free credits to spend on Google Cloud.
Get started
Talk to a Google Cloud sales specialist to discuss your unique challenge in more detail.
Contact us