Artificial Neurons and Nonlinear Mixing

Talking through the concept of an artificial neuron, the fundamental component of artificial intelligence and machine learning, from an audio perspective.

I’ve made a few videos recently with “artificial neurons” including in Pure Data and in Eurorack, and, in this video, I discuss the ideas here in more detail, specifically how an artificial neuron is just a nonlinear mixer.

An artificial neuron takes in multiple inputs, weights them, and then transforms the sum of them using an “activation function”, which is just a nonlinear transformation (of some variety).

Of course just making a single neuron does not mean you’ve made an artificial intelligence or a program capable of “deep learning”, but understanding these fundamental building blocks can be a great first step in demystifying the growing number of machine learning programs in the 21st Century.

More music and sound design with artificial neurons: