What is Deep Learning?

2024/01/24 10:23

Deep learning has emerged as a transformative force in the field of artificial intelligence, revolutionizing the way machines perceive and process information.

In this blog, VNG Cloud will delve into the intricacies of deep learning, unraveling its definition, exploring its significance, understanding the distinctions between deep learning and machine learning, and examining various types of neural networks underpinning this cutting-edge technology.


Deep learning, a branch of machine learning, is characterized by its reliance on the architecture of artificial neural networks (ANNs). ANNs consist of interconnected nodes, or neurons, organized into layers that collaboratively process and learn from input data.

In a fully connected deep neural network, there exists an input layer followed by one or more hidden layers connected sequentially. Each neuron within these layers receives input either from the previous layer's neurons or directly from the input layer. The output of one neuron serves as the input for neurons in the subsequent layer, perpetuating this process until the final layer generates the network's output. Through a series of nonlinear transformations, the neural network layers facilitate the learning of intricate representations of the input data.

Deep learning is a subfield of ML and AI that utilizes ANNs to enable computers to learn and make decisions akin to the human brain
Deep learning is a subfield of ML and AI that utilizes ANNs to enable computers to learn and make decisions akin to the human brain

Currently, deep learning stands out as a prominent and widely recognized domain within machine learning, gaining popularity for its achievements across diverse applications like computer vision, natural language processing, and reinforcement learning.

Deep learning is applicable to supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement machine learning, employing various methods to process information in each of these contexts.

  • Supervised Machine Learning: involves training a neural network to make predictions or classify data by learning from labelled datasets. In this approach, both input features and corresponding target variables are provided as input. The neural network learns to make predictions by minimizing the cost or error, which arises from the disparity between the predicted and actual targets. This iterative refinement process is known as backpropagation. Deep learning algorithms, such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) and Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs), find application in various supervised tasks like image classification and recognition, sentiment analysis, language translations, etc.
  • Unsupervised Machine Learning: entails training a neural network to identify patterns or cluster a dataset without the presence of labelled data. In this technique, there are no target variables provided, requiring the machine to autonomously discern hidden patterns or relationships within the unlabelled datasets. Deep learning algorithms, such as autoencoders and generative models, are applied to unsupervised tasks like clustering, dimensionality reduction, and anomaly detection.
  • Reinforcement Machine Learning: a machine learning approach where an agent learns to make decisions in an environment to maximize a reward signal. The agent engages with the environment by taking action and observing the ensuing rewards. Deep learning is applied to acquire policies, or sets of actions, that optimize cumulative rewards over time. Deep reinforcement learning algorithms, such as Deep Q Networks and Deep Deterministic Policy Gradient (DDPG), are employed for reinforcing tasks like robotics and game playing, etc.

The importance of Deep Learning

Successful implementation of deep learning hinges on the availability of substantial labelled datasets and significant computational capabilities. When an organization can meet these requirements, deep learning finds applications in various fields, including digital assistants, fraud detection, and facial recognition.

Its notable recognition accuracy becomes particularly pivotal in safety-critical contexts, such as autonomous vehicles or medical devices, emphasizing its potential to ensure reliability and performance.

Deep learning is contributing to advancements in technology, especially in the field of AI
Deep learning is contributing to advancements in technology, especially in the field of AI

Difference between Deep Learning and Machine Learning

Machine learning and deep learning are both branches of artificial intelligence, sharing commonalities yet exhibiting distinctions in their approaches and methodologies.

Deep Learning vs. Machine Learning
Deep Learning vs. Machine Learning

Types of Neural Networks

Deep learning models possess the capability to autonomously learn features from data, rendering them highly effective for tasks like image recognition, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Prominent architectures in deep learning include feedforward neural networks (FNNs), convolutional neural networks (CNNs), and recurrent neural networks (RNNs).

Deep learning uses diverse neural networks tailored for specific tasks and data types
Deep learning uses diverse neural networks tailored for specific tasks and data types
  • Feedforward neural networks (FNNs): Represent the most straightforward type of artificial neural network (ANN), featuring a linear flow of information throughout the network. FNNs find extensive application in tasks such as image classification, speech recognition, and natural language processing.
  • Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs): Designed specifically for image and video recognition tasks, CNNs possess the ability to automatically learn features from images. This characteristic makes CNNs highly suitable for tasks like image classification, object detection, and image segmentation.
  • Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs): Belong to the category of neural networks capable of handling sequential data, including time series and natural language. RNNs possess the ability to retain an internal state that captures information about preceding inputs, rendering them highly suitable for tasks such as speech recognition, natural language processing, and language translation.


In conclusion, deep learning stands at the forefront of technological innovation, reshaping the landscape of artificial intelligence. As we navigate through the definitions, significance, and various neural network types, it becomes evident that deep learning is not merely a technological advancement; it's a paradigm shift in how we approach and solve complex problems.

With its continued evolution, deep learning promises a future where machines not only assist but truly understand and adapt to the complexities of the world around us.

VNG Cloud plans to launch GPU Cloud, a dynamic and cutting-edge platform with a focus on delivering exceptional GPU performance in 2024. This cloud solution is tailored for a wide range of applications, from AI, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Large Language Model (LLM) to high-performance computing (HPC) workloads. Our dedicated GPU servers are ready to meet the high demands of today's data-intensive tasks.