Goglides Dev 🌱

Cover image for Neural Networks Vs. Deep Learning: A Discussion on Their Major Differences
Anushree Mitra
Anushree Mitra

Posted on

Neural Networks Vs. Deep Learning: A Discussion on Their Major Differences

Neural networks and deep learning systems denote the cutting-edge super-smart tools in the digital world that can sort out even the trickiest issues by recognizing patterns. Their superb capacity for complicated data handling makes them stand out from the conventional algorithms and they are getting better with time. To get a profound understanding of these two systems and their differences take a look at the upcoming part of this article. Here we’ll have a discussion on:

  • What is a Neural Network?
  • What Does a Deep Learning System Mean?
  • Use Cases of Neural Networks
  • Usage of Deep Learning
  • How Do These Two Systems Differ?

What is a Neural Network?

Neural networks, a branch of machine learning, can be compared to the digital apprentices who can learn from an extensive dataset and can help computers make sense of things. Their mission? To replicate the way our brains work, where neurons communicate with each other.

For instance- imagine Google's search engine as a colossal neural network, a digital titan orchestrating interconnected nodes. It's like the grand maestro of all networks, tasked with delivering lightning-fast and spot-on results, meeting the high expectation levels of users worldwide.

What is Deep Learning?

Deep learning denotes the subfield of machine learning that focuses on the fact that algorithm development can hierarchically learn from data. It's like building a tower of digital blocks, each layer stacked with interconnected nodes, resembling the way our brains work. Deep learning ranges from recognizing images and understanding speech to deciphering human language and steering self-driving cars, making it a real wizard of the tech world.

Popular Use Cases of Neural Networks

Speech Recognition: Speech recognition has coped with the complexities of accents, languages, and dialects. Neural networks are game-changers that provide the processing power and adaptability needed to tackle these challenges. Through ongoing training across various dialects, voice-based chatbots can now understand a broader range of idioms and speech nuances.

Image Recognition: In the realm of image recognition, neural networks boost both accuracy and speed. They excel in sifting through the multitude of objects that can appear in visual data. This combination of neural networks and computer vision is increasingly prevalent, especially in public spaces where surveillance and safety systems rely on rapid and precise image analysis.

Advanced Search: Neural networks have revolutionized search engines, with Google being a pioneer in their implementation. Other platforms are now following suit due to their ability to provide lightning-fast responses and predict user queries in real time. What sets neural networks apart is their collaborative nature, where each node contributes to crafting more powerful and accurate search results.

Generative AI: Neural networks are instrumental in content generation, providing the foundation for creating articles, documentation, and papers that serve as starting points for human content creators. Their unique strength lies in identifying logical structures within vast data repositories, enabling the rapid and efficient generation of valuable content.

Popular Usage of Deep Learning

Text and Image Generation: Deep learning, powered by large language models, can create coherent text across various topics and produce realistic images from text prompts. This application, known as generative AI, is a significant driver of deep learning adoption.
Automatic Data Capture: Deep learning is revolutionizing data capture from business documents, enhancing data analytics performance. This automated process saves time and money by eliminating the need for manual data entry, offering substantial benefits to enterprises.
Transcription Services: Deep learning ensures high-accuracy text transcripts from audio recordings, particularly in business meetings and phone calls. This transcription capability enhances data accessibility and retrieval.

How Do These Two Systems Differ?

A neural network is a computational model that gets inspiration from the brain structure and functioning of the human brain. It has interconnected nodes or artificial neurons arranged in layers (input, hidden, and output layers). Neural networks can be shallow or deep but typically involve a single hidden layer.
Deep learning is a subset of machine learning that focuses on neural networks with multiple hidden layers. DL models are characterized by their depth and come with several hidden layers, making them capable of handling complex, hierarchical data representations.

Neural networks have an extensive range of applications, including image and speech recognition, natural language processing, and pattern recognition. They are suitable for tasks that do not require a high degree of depth in learning.
Deep learning excels in more complex and intricate tasks. It is extensively used in applications like deep neural networks for image classification, convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for computer vision, recurrent neural networks (RNNs) for natural language processing, and deep reinforcement learning for game-playing and autonomous vehicles.


Neurons: Neurons are similar to the mathematical mimics of biological neurons. They compute weighted averages of input data and process it through a nonlinear logistic function.
Connections and Weights: Neurons connect within and between layers, with each connection, bearing a weight signifying its strength. The aim is to minimize these weights to reduce errors.
Propagation: Neural networks involve two propagation functions. Forward propagation yields predictions, while backward propagation assesses errors.
Learning Rate: Gradient Descent, employed for neural network training, calculates loss function derivatives relative to weight values via backpropagation. The learning rate governs the pace at which model weights update, influencing convergence speed.

Deep Learning Model Anatomy:

  1. Motherboard: At the heart of a deep learning model, the motherboard relies on PCI-e lanes for its core architecture.
  2. Processors: Determining the GPU requisites hinges on core count and cost considerations, defining the model's processing power.
  3. Random Access Memory (RAM): The colossal computational demands of deep learning necessitate substantial RAM capacity, providing the essential storage backbone.
  4. Power Supply Unit (PSU): As memory demands expand, a robust Power Supply Unit becomes paramount to efficiently manage the intricate and resource-intensive functions of deep learning systems.

Learning Time and Complexity:

The training process of a shallow neural network with a single hidden layer is relatively faster compared to deep learning models. The training process is less computationally intensive.
Deep learning models, with their multiple hidden layers, often need more time and computational resources for training. However, they can learn complex features and representations that shallow networks may struggle to capture, justifying the additional training time.

Data Size and Availability

Neural networks can be effective for tasks with smaller datasets, as they are less prone to overfitting when compared to deep learning models. They can generalize well with limited data.
Deep learning models are dependent on huge datasets. Their depth allows them to capture intricate patterns and nuances within extensive data, making them particularly suited for applications like image and speech recognition, where vast amounts of data are available.
In a nutshell, while neural networks work as a foundational concept in ML and can handle various tasks effectively, deep learning reaches this idea to another height by introducing more complex architectures with multiple hidden layers.


A great similarity between these two often makes it difficult to create a clear distinction between these two. But hopefully, after reading this blog, figuring out the prime differences between them will be a little bit easier for you. Deep learning is a detective that digs deep into data, trying to find patterns and connections similar to how our brains respond to different things. Whereas, neural networks are like messengers that use interconnected neurons to take in input and produce useful outputs. So, while they're related, Deep Learning is all about uncovering patterns, while neural networks focus more on processing and transmitting data to get results.

Top comments (0)