BBC News

'Deep learning' technology inspired by human brain

Machines are becoming increasingly more intelligent - able to see, speak and even think like us because of "deep learning", a set of algorithms that allows machines to see objects and understand what they are.

Prof Zoubin Ghahramani from the University of Cambridge told Rebecca Morelle, reporting for the Today programme: "What makes deep learning different from other kinds of machine learning is that the structure is loosely inspired by our understanding of the brain.

"Computers, if they're exposed to lots and lots of data - where that data could be images, videos, music, human speech - can extract patterns from that data."

This intelligence can then be used for a variety of technologies, including smart glasses and self-driving cars, which has led to companies such as Google and Facebook investing in it heavily.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday 19 December 2013.