80th birthday of the McCulloch-Pitts neuron, the fundamental idea behind all neural networks #AI @gdb @TDataScience

It is very well known that the most fundamental unit of deep neural networks is called an artificial neuron/perceptron. But the very first step towards the perceptron we use today was taken in 1943 by McCulloch and Pitts, by mimicking the functionality of a biological neuron.

In their paper, McCulloch and Pitts tried to understand how the brain could produce highly complex patterns by using many basic cells that are connected together. These basic brain cells are called neurons, and McCulloch and Pitts gave a highly simplified model of a neuron in their paper.

The original MCP Neurons had limitations. Additional features were added which allowed them to “learn.” The next major development in neural networks was the concept of a perceptron which was introduced by Frank Rosenblatt in 1958. Essentially the perceptron is an MCP neuron where the inputs are first passed through some “preprocessors,” which are called association units. These association units detect the presence of certain specific features in the inputs. In fact, as the name suggests, a perceptron was intended to be a pattern recognition device, and the association units correspond to feature or pattern detectors.

Read more on Towards Data Science and the original MCP paper.

 


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