How many of you know or remember these manes: Blockbuster, Barnes&Noble, Postal Market, Vestro, Borders, Blackberry, Compaq, Nokia ….
Maybe some of you yes, but most maybe not. These are the pre-historic examples of retailing business models which did not understand or, even worse, underestimated the rise and intrinsic importance of the DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY.
All the above now are already ran out of business or have significantly reduced their operations even if they were indisputable leaders in their respective sectors, with their followers far far behind (think for a moment to the impressive amount of shelves fully booked with VHS or DVD Movies boxes you could find in a regular Blockbuster store versus the very limited offer of the mom-and-pop’s local movies stores).
What is an ANN - Artificial Neural Network?
At the beginning there were just TWO states: "1" or "0", "YES" or "NO", "ON" or "OFF", "UP" or "DOWN", etc..
Now a new state entered the game and again this new technology "breakthrough" will change our entire life and maybe human existence.
This new state, which I call it “MAYBE” state, represents how, in a technology world were certainty (we strove to be ON or OFF, True or False) has been searched and aimed with huge efforts, the introduction of such a level of "uncertainty" is revolutionizing everything.
This NEW UNCERTAIN STATE has opened up a wider and endless set of results, giving Neural Networks the possibility to “behave and think” just like a human brain.
The calculation is very simple: with two states, you can have just two outputs, but when you set this new state (“Maybe”), the outcomes become immediately infinite. And this just because what it is “maybe for me” may NOT be for you!
MIT Engineering Department has developed neural network, which analyzing social activities of students (during a three months’ period before the end of a term) can predict with high accuracy rate, which classes these students would have chosen the following term.
Another example is that one of a student at Imperial College London who taught a neural network to play chess just by analyzing five million positions from a database of computer chess game. After training, the machine was able to play at very high level and even before of the most sophisticated chess software programs which were written specifically to play chess. But the amazing thig is that this student has written no line of code on how play chess, even the basic rules or strategies!
But how is this possible? One answer: DATA!
To achieve such impressive feats, neural networks need huge training datasets. And more and more data, even the most negligible, will be necessary in order to make neural networks succeed.
Of course, need vast amounts of computing power well interconnected with high-speed networks.