What deep learning really means

Perhaps the most positive technical theme of 2016 was the long-delayed triumph of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and in particular deep learning. In this article we’ll discuss what that means and how you might make use of deep learning yourself.

Perhaps you noticed in the fall of 2016 that Google Translate suddenly went from producing, on the average, word salad with a vague connection to the original language to emitting polished, coherent sentences more often than not — at least for supported language pairs, such as English-French, English-Chinese, and English-Japanese. That dramatic improvement was the result of a nine-month concerted effort by the Google Brain and Google Translate teams to revamp Translate from using its old phrase-based statistical machine translation algorithms to working with a neural network trained with deep learning and word embeddings employing Google’s TensorFlow framework.

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