1. Biological and Machine Vision
Throughout this chapter and much of this book, the visual system of biological organisms is used as an analogy to bring deep learning to, um . . . life. In addition to conveying a high-level understanding of what deep learning is, this analogy provides insight into how deep learning approaches are so powerful and so broadly applicable.
Five hundred fifty million years ago, in the prehistoric Cambrian period, the number of species on the planet began to surge (Figure 1.1). From the fossil record, there is evidence1 that this explosion was driven by the development of light detectors in the trilobite, a small marine animal related to modern crabs (Figure 1.2). A visual system, even a primitive ...