That’s my baby.Raising a kid is the closest analog I’ve found to explain the pride and wonder I drew from training a neural network. But while my own son’s development has taken years, I’ve been able to watch my artificial children mature in a matter of hours.Neural networks are a type of machine learning that loosely mimic the way the brain processes information. By design, they’re extremely adept at identifying and analyzing patterns, and in recent years companies have rolled out solutions based on deep neural networks behind the scenes. (The “deep” there, in case you’re wondering, essentially refers to an increased number of layers of processing within the network.) You’ve almost certainly felt the benefit of their power — they’re part of what makes Google and Amazon’s speech recognition work so well, and, although Apple doesn’t like to let us peer behind the magic curtain, it’s highly likely one is powering Siri as well.