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From Artificial Neural Networks to Recurrent Neural Networks: A Journey through Deep and Machine Learning

Mar 14, 20235 min read

Dawid Karczewski

Senior full stack developer and CTO at Ideamotive.

A Journey through Deep and Machine Learning ogimage

We live in an era of incredible technological advancements, and it's no secret that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most revolutionary inventions of our time. Two of the most popular subsets of Artificial Intelligence are Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL). They are used extensively in various industries: business, finance, education, research, entertainment, etc. Let’s take a Deep and Machine Learning journey from Artificial neural to Recurrent neural networks.


From Artificial Neural Networks to Recurrent Neural Networks- A Journey through Deep and Machine Learning - deep learning

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a branch of AI. It teaches computers how to learn from data and make predictions or decisions without being told what to do. It means that machines can learn from examples and experiences as humans do.


The connection between Machine Learning and AI is that ML is a key component of AI. AI uses algorithms for Machine Learning to teach computers to spot patterns and make decisions based on the given data. Machine Learning is a crucial tool that enables AI to achieve its goals, from voice recognition to self-driving cars.


There are several key features and characteristics of Machine Learning models and algorithms:

  1. Supervised Learning is a type of ML where the algorithm is trained on labeled data. The algorithm learns to recognize patterns in the data to make predictions based on those patterns;
  2. Unsupervised Learning is a type of ML where the algorithm is trained on unlabeled data. The algorithm learns to identify patterns without any prior knowledge of the data;
  3. Reinforcement learning is a type of ML where the algorithm learns through trial and error. The algorithm is rewarded for making correct decisions and penalized for making incorrect decisions; 
  4. Neural networks are a type of ML model inspired by the human brain's structure and function. Neural networks consist of layers of interconnected nodes that work together to process information and make predictions.

We outline the top 5 programming languages for Machine Learning:

  • Python; 
  • R Programming Langauge;
  • Java and JavaScript;
  • Julia;
  • LISP.

As to the applications, we can give you some examples, as one of the most exciting applications of ML is image recognition. Machine Learning algorithms train on large datasets of images, allowing them to identify objects and recognize patterns within those images. This technology is used in many areas, such as medical imaging, self-driving cars, systems that recognize faces, research and prediction. We’ve written an interesting observation about AI in research and development field some years ago.


Another area where ML has a significant impact is speech recognition. Machine Learning algorithms train voice assistants like Siri and Alexa to understand natural language and respond to voice commands. Call centers also use speech recognition technology to transcribe and analyze customer conversations. It gives call center workers valuable information about how and what customers like to do. 


You may discover the most trendy apps of ML-like Google Assistant – one of the best AI apps in 2022, Google Translator, Google's AlphaGo, Cortana, and many others.


From Artificial Neural Networks to Recurrent Neural Networks- A Journey through Deep and Machine Learning - machine learning helps us with

What is Deep Learning?

Deep Learning utilizes Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) to process and learn from large data sets. ANNs are modeled after the structure and function of the human brain. They also have layers of interconnected nodes that work together to process information.


By adjusting the weight and bias of the nodes, ANNs can be taught to find patterns and features in large datasets. As the network learns, it gets better at recognizing these patterns and can make increasingly accurate predictions or decisions.


Several key features set Deep Learning algorithms and models apart from other types of ML:

  1. Hierarchical structure: Deep Learning models are built with multiple layers of processing, allowing them to learn increasingly complex representations of the input data;
  2. Non-linearity: Deep Learning models use non-linear activation functions to introduce non-linearities into the model, which allows it to capture more complex relationships between the input and output data;
  3. End-to-end Learning: Deep Learning models are trained end-to-end, meaning that the input data is fed directly into the model, and the output is produced without the need for intermediate processing steps;
  4. Transfer learning: Deep Learning models can be fine-tuned on new tasks using pre-trained models, allowing for faster and more efficient Learning.

One of the most exciting applications of Deep Learning is in Natural Language Processing (NLP). NLP is the field of AI that focuses on teaching machines to understand and interpret human language. Deep Learning has enabled significant breakthroughs in NLP, including the development of machine translation systems, sentiment analysis tools, and chatbots.


Another area where Deep Learning is having a significant impact is self-driving cars. DL models analyze unstructured data from cameras and other sensors in real-time. It lets self-driving cars recognize and react to things in their environment. DL is also used to develop advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to help human drivers stay safe.

Deep Learning vs. Machine Learning

First and foremost, let's understand that DL is ML, i.e., Deep Learning is an evolution of Machine Learning. While both involve learning from data, their learning methods, human intervention, and processing power differ.

  • Learning Method

Machine Learning is a subset of AI that helps machines to learn from data. It uses statistical algorithms to learn from data, and it requires less data to learn. It is widely used in applications such as recommendation systems, fraud detection, and predictive maintenance;

  • Deep Learning

On the other hand, it is a type of ML that uses deep neural networks to learn from data. It requires a lot of data to learn and can handle unstructured data such as images, audio, and text;

  • Human Intervention

Machine Learning algorithms require human intervention to select the data features relevant to the problem. For example, in a spam email detection system, the algorithm selects features such as specific keywords, the sender's address, and the time of day. This feature selection helps to process human intelligence.


In contrast, Deep Learning algorithms learn the features from the data automatically. It doesn’t require human intervention in feature selection, making it more efficient and accurate.

  • Processing Power

Machine Learning algorithms can run on a single machine, and they do not require high computational power. However, Deep Learning algorithms require high computational power and can only run on specialized hardware such as Graphical processing units (GPUs). DL algorithms require a large amount of data to learn, which needs to be processed quickly.


There are differences and similarities between Deep Learning algorithms (such as Recurrent Neural Networks) and Machine Learning algorithms that Support Vector Machines (SVMs):

  • Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs):

RNNs are a type of DL algorithm that can handle sequential data such as time-series data and natural language processing. Developers use it in applications such as speech recognition and machine translation.

In contrast, ML algorithms like decision trees and random forests can’t handle sequential data efficiently.

  • Support Vector Machines (SVMs):

SVMs are a type of Machine Learning algorithm that we use for classification and regression analysis. Deep Learning algorithms such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) can perform better than SVMs in image classification tasks.

We’ve already talked about how DL and ML have changed various industries: healthcare, finance, transportation, entertainment, etc. But both have their pros and cons that depend on the application.


From Artificial Neural Networks to Recurrent Neural Networks- A Journey through Deep and Machine Learning - advantages of use of machine learning and deep learning


From Artificial Neural Networks to Recurrent Neural Networks- A Journey through Deep and Machine Learning - disadvantages of use of machine learning and deep learning


Ultimately, the choice between DL and ML comes down to the task and the available resources. For example, Deep Learning may be better for complex applications where accuracy is critical but requires large datasets and high computational power. On the other hand, Machine Learning may be a better choice for applications that require flexibility and interpretability, but it may have lower accuracy rates and require human intervention. 

Future challenges of Deep Learning and Machine Learning

These sophisticated systems can recognize speech, play complex games, and drive cars today. DL and ML are two of the most prominent technologies driving these changes, and they are quickly becoming the standard for building AI applications. Let’s sum up all the information we’ve learned.


Machine Learning allows machines to learn from data without being explicitly programmed. It means that the machine can identify patterns in the data and use them to make predictions or decisions.


Deep Learning models, on the other hand, are a subset of Machine Learning that use neural networks to learn from data. These neural networks are based on how the human brain works and can be used for many things, such as recognizing images, voices, and natural language. As DL and ML evolve, we can expect new trends in the coming years. 


We can expect to see significant improvements in natural language processing. It could lead to chatbots and virtual assistants that are smarter and better able to understand and respond to natural language.


DL and ML significantly impact society, with both positive and negative effects. On the positive side, they have led to advancements in different fields and have the potential to solve many of the world's problems.


On the negative side, they can lead to job displacement, privacy invasion, and other social issues. When these technologies are used in business, both have the potential to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase revenue.

Dawid Karczewski

Dawid is a full stack developer experienced in creating Ruby on Rails and React Native apps from naught to implementation. Technological superhero, delivering amazing solutions for our clients and helping them grow.

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