Convolutional neural networks. Sounds like a weird combination of biology and math with a little CS sprinkled in, but these networks have been some of the most influential innovations in the field of computer vision. 2012 was the first year that neural nets grew to prominence as Alex Krizhevsky used them to win that year’s ImageNet competition (basically, the annual Olympics of computer vision), dropping the classification error record from 26% to 15%, an astounding improvement at the time. Ever since then, a host of companies have been using deep learning at the core of their services. Facebook uses neural nets for their automatic tagging algorithms, Google for their photo search, Amazon for their product recommendations, Pinterest for their home feed personalization, and Instagram for their search infrastructure. However, the classic, and arguably most popular, use case of these networks is for image processing. Within image processing, let’s take a look at how to use these CNNs for image classification.
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