What’s an ANN – Artificial Neuronal Network?


At the beginning there were just TWO states: 0 or 1, ON or OFF, UP or Down, etc.. Now a new state entered the game and again this is the new technology breakthrough which will change our entire life and maybe human existence. This new state I call it “MAYBE”! It is unbelievable how in a technology world were certainty (we strove to be ON or OFF, True or False) has been searched and aimed with such efforts, now the introduction of a level of uncertainty, is revolutionizing everything. But do not misunderstand: it is this uncertainty 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, which I call “Maybe”, the outcomes become immediately infinite.  And this just because what it is “maybe for me” may NOT be for you!
It is how to set this threshold point, above which we say “maybe”, which all the scientists, engineers, programmers, architects, biologists, etc. are working harder and harder to set in a more efficient and more-human like way. It is the arbitrage freedom of our brain that ANN are trying to copy, and unfortunately, to improve. I am confident that sooner or later, this new milestone will be not only reached but broken too.

Think for a moment at our first years of our existence: being children, or even before we were inside our mothers’ womb, our brains started to collect DATA: sounds, colors, sensations, gravity, heat, cold, pain, and so on so forth. It takes almost one year (or even more) to start to stand on our feet and even more for saying a first word, which nobody can say if we (at that time) have deliberately chosen to say or it was just a first “attempt” made by our brain to speak, trying to replicate the sound of that specific word that for many months earlier has been listened and recorded.

I can say this: the amount of DATA that a single brain has recorded is uncountable!

And here we are facing and assisting the same process: what todays’ ANN can collect and make are more or less equivalent at what our brains stated to collect and to make during the very first “seconds” of our lives. If you make the comparison on what a mature man or woman can do once he/she has grown up, you can imagine what these ANN’s will be able to do in the same time horizon (a couple of decades)!

Are you scared or fascinated? Maybe both…

Share with me your thoughts.

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