Deep Learning Neural Networks

November 3, 2013 at 11:55 pm Leave a comment

Every single time you decide to update your status, you are sending secret messages about your personality that you yourself may not be able to realize. I’m not writing about just the basic facebook like of your favorite band’s page. Companies like facebook are now analyzing the data you harmlessly give them a bit further to understand where you are in your life and what is best to sell you tomorrow. The larger companies are investing large amounts of money into something called a deep learning neural network with the hope of figuring out just who you are and how to best proceed knowing their customer’s personality.

How does this deep learning neural network figure out who I am and what I want? The idea is based on the concept of how our bodies figure things out and make decisions based upon the inputs we receive. The input values can be as simple as your facebook post that you really want some ice cream and your later post that you had a really hard test this morning. These post can be perceived just the same as you seeing ice cream and your decision to purchase it. With the use of the neural network, the computer can realize that during finals time it should to try and sell you ice cream. This is just a very simple example and the technology itself can be used to look at thousands of post to make even more surprising statements about you. Basically, neural networks can be used to recognize associations between what you do with your social network to determine how best to serve and advertise to you.


The associations work nearly the same as neurons in your own central nervous system. Each neuron is attached to thousands of other different neurons. To determine outputs from inputs, your brain takes your neurons and their associations to other neurons to make complex decisions. Computers can do the same thing, but replace the word neuron with node. Nodes can store information themselves and also connections to other nodes. Deep learning algorithms take these nodes into consideration and evaluate the connections between the data to provide meaningful results.

Although all of the data mining of your personal life may sound scary, neural networks do have serious potential to make your overall social networking experience much better. They hope to utilize deep learning neural network algorithms for a variety of applications such as helping you better articulate a post and choose the best vacation pictures from the thousands you have uploaded.

The idea itself isn’t brand new. Computer neural networking technology was used by Google to recognize human faces and helped Microsoft with speech recognition and translation. The same idea has even been used to recognize human emotions from text without you telling it specifically how you are feeling. One company who was later acquired by facebook had claimed they could accurately determine which of your smiles were genuine and which were faked just by looking at your pictures. It is a very efficient and intelligent method of analyzing data and making valuable connections in any application of its use.


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