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Wednesday, April 01, 2020

How Artificial Neural Networks Impact Our Lives

by Editor (editor) , February 08, 2020

Technology continues to evolve and impact our lives in many different ways. One of the most complex yet exciting technological developments comprises artificial neural networks (ANNs). In this post, we would like to share how ANN applications can affect our everyday lives. Here are some examples of how various industries employ ANNs.

Healthcare

In the healthcare industry, ANN use started gaining prominence in the late 1990s. But its use fluctuated over the years due to the primitive nature of mid-20th-century computer technology. As healthcare digitization became more pronounced, though, those in the medical industry are now able to gather massive amounts of data that is then analyzed using machine learning (ML) technology. ANNs thus began slowly finding its way back into the medical industry, most notably in:

Diagnosing and treating diseases

Healthcare providers harness the power of ANNs to make informed decisions about patient diagnoses and treatment management. With ANNs, it is easy to create accurate interpretations of medical images and identify appropriate drug dosing.

Assessing clinical health records

ANNs can streamline patient classification. They help healthcare providers analyze and make sense of clinical data. They also allow them to come up with better treatment and management protocols for their patients.

Finance

Another industry that benefits from ANN use is finance. Since there is a need for high-quality financial data and tested models, ANNs have become attractive tools, particularly in:

Predicting outcomes in stock market trading

ANNs can effectively use historical data and predict results using stock market indices. Users can apply hidden layers and use variables for training to improve the accuracy of predictions. For NASDAQ stock exchange rate predictions, for instance, they use a feed-forward neural network with three hidden layers with 20-40-20 neurons in each. This optimized network has a 94.08% prediction accuracy.

Evaluating loan applications

ANNs are also used to assess loan applications and decide whether banks should approve or deny applicants. The technology can analyze past failures to come up with current decisions. It uses parameters such as age, gender, marital status, annual income, and education as variables to check whether an applicant should get a loan or not.

ANNs also allow players in the banking and finance industry to predict foreign currency exchange rates, business failures, and bank failures.

Retail

When it comes to the retail industry, technology has a huge impact. Aside from the proliferation of e-commerce sites, technology has also brought ANNs. Through this technology, e-commerce site owners can:

Offer advanced search functions

Site owners must be able to provide a sophisticated search function that effectively matches product titles to search terms to improve the quality of their customers’ experience. With ANNs that can learn natural language and incorporate human elements, shoppers never have to go through several iterations of keywords to find what they are looking for.

Provide personalized shopping experiences

One of the ways e-commerce sites can edge out the competition is on the level of their personalization. ANNs can help them achieve this. It would be easy to gather and analyze shopper demographics and group them according to preferences. That way, e-commerce sites can come up with marketing strategies that allow them to cater to specific target audiences.

One clear example is how Amazon presents related products. These suggestions are not random but are instead the result of ANN analysis of the same products a group of shoppers from the same demographics previously purchased.

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These are just some of the different ways that ANNs impact our lives. For some, it may not be as apparent as they want it to be because, like their layers, ANNs come hidden in plain sight.



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