The brain has functions analogous to a computer –writing (communicating), storing, recalling via a formal syntax. For decades, human programmers have been coding behavior using languages such as machine-command Assembly Language, and higher-level Basic, C#, Java, HTML/XML, IOS, etc. These language programs consist of step-by-step instructions that instruct a machine to create, manipulate, store and recall data.
In contrast, programmers have begun to train computational systems (computers, phones, smart gadgets) by exposing them to myriads of examples. Wired magazine, June 2016 describes this phenomenon in “/*The End of Code*/”
” If you want to teach a neural network to recognize a cat, for instance, you don’t tell it to look for whiskers, ears, fur, and eyes. You simply show it thousands and thousands of photos of cats, and eventually it works things out.”
Facebook, Google, Microsoft use massive distributed computational systems mimic the multilayered neural connections of the human brain. Thus, Facebook knows what tidbits to assemble as your news feed, Google Search is moving from human-written algorithms to reliance on deep neural networks.